Monday, November 30, 2015

Strange Disappearance For Monday Mystery...!

Nothing like starting off the new week with a new mystery story.

The sad part of this story from Listverse is that it was partly solved in August of this year. Trouble is, the part that was solved led to even yet another mystery. Seems like this one just won't go away easily, ya know?

The Disappearance Of Robin Putnam

On July 7, 2012, 25-year-old college student Robin Putnam hopped on an Amtrak train in California to visit his family in Colorado. At approximately 3:00 AM the following morning, the train made a stop in Salt Lake City, and Robin inexplicably climbed off. He left some of his belongings behind, including his laptop and wallet, and disappeared without a trace. Prior to his disappearance, Robin had been suffering from anxiety attacks and displaying erratic behavior. Since he had allegedly not slept for days before his train trip, all signs seemed to point to him having some sort of mental breakdown.

In the months following Robin’s disappearance, there were unconfirmed sightings of him in the Salt Lake City area, suggesting that he might have been wandering the streets as a homeless transient. Robin’s family would spend the next three years searching for him, but the mystery finally came to a tragic end when railroad employees found some skeletal remains next to railway tracks in a remote desert area 24 kilometers (15 mi) outside of Wells, Nevada. Since Robin’s debit card and a set of keys with his name were also found, it seemed likely that the remains were him. Dental records would officially confirm this in August 2015. At the moment, Robin Putnam’s cause of death is unknown, and there are still no answers about why his remains were found over 290 kilometers (180 mi) away from where he was last seen.

It's always sad when a family member goes missing with no apparent reason. Obviously this young man had some serious problems, and just didn't get the help he needed before disappearing. Very sad for his family!

Coffee out on the patio this chilly morning, OK?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Want Some Roadrunner...?

Always a favorite of many cartoon lovers, I figured I'd show a few of his 'toons today. That alright with you?

And one more for the road...!

Well, will that do for today? I sure hope so!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Chilly out on the patio.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Some Elevator History...!

So many times we don't stop and think of the many so-called " modern" inventions we use on a regular basis. Turns out not all of them are modern at all!

From the folks over at, here is a little history that may just surprise you.

Who invented the elevator?
By Laura Schumm

Although elevators may seem like a modern invention, devices used to transport people or goods vertically have been around for thousands of years. According to the writings of Vitruvius, the Greek mathematician Archimedes created a primitive elevator in 236 B.C. that was operated by hoisting ropes wound around a drum and rotated by manpower applied to a capstan. In ancient Rome, a subterranean complex of rooms, animal pens and tunnels stood beneath the Colosseum. At various intervals, elevators powered by hundreds of men using winches and counterweights brought gladiators and large animals up through vertical shafts into the arena for battle.

In 1743, Louis XV had what was referred to as a “flying chair” built to allow one of his mistresses to access her quarters on the third floor of the Palace of Versailles. Similarly, a “flying table” in his retreat ch√Ęteau de Choisy allowed the king and his private guests to dine without intrusion from the servants. At the sound of a bell, a table would rise from the kitchen below into the dining room with an elaborate meal, including all of the necessary accoutrements.

By the mid-19th century, elevators powered by steam or water were available for sale, but the ropes they relied upon could be worn out or destroyed and were not, therefore, generally trusted for passenger travel. However, in 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety break that revolutionized the vertical transport industry. In the event that an elevator’s hoisting rope broke, a spring would operate pawls on the car, forcing them into position with racks at the sides of the shaft and suspending the car in place. Installed in a five-story department store in New York City in 1857, Otis’ first commercial passenger elevator soon changed the world’s skyline, making skyscrapers a practical reality and turning the most valuable real estate on its head—from the first floor to the penthouse.

Kinda makes you wonder what other inventions are not as modern as we think, doesn't it?

Coffee out on the patio before the cooler weather sets in.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Project Thor For Freaky Friday...!

Nothing is as freaky as a government program that almost was! Luckily this one never made it into practice, as far as we know!

How someone can come up with so many ways to kill is far beyond me. I do hope that we don't have something like this floating around out there right now, ya know?

Project Thor (aka Rods From God)

Project Thor was never put into practice, but if it had been, the results might have been absolutely terrifying. In the 1950s, scientist (and future sci-fi writer) Jerry Pournelle was looking at the idea of kinetic bombardment, which means launching missiles from space with no explosives and simply letting the power of speed and gravity do the work. If you’ve played Call of Duty: Ghosts, the idea might sound familiar. It’s the opening scene, and it was almost very real.

Project Thor (or Rods from God) never made it off the drawing board, thanks in no small part to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which made space-based weapons off-limits. Until then, the military was looking at ways to make satellites into incredibly deadly weapons. We may eventually see such ideas make the jump from science fiction to reality, though, especially with advancing technology and a shift in the position of whether or not space is a staging ground.

The basics of the idea involve two satellites working together. One is armed with 6-meter-long (20 ft) tungsten rods, no more than 0.3 meters (1 ft) in diameter. The second satellite does all of the communication and targeting. After a rod is dropped, it’s estimated that it would be traveling at 11,000 meters per second (36,000 ft/s) when it finally hits the ground.

We don’t know much else about the plan, except that the government’s not saying what the project’s current status is. Attaching the rods to intercontinental ballistic missiles was also suggested, which would be cheaper than using satellites. We might still see Rods from God dropping from US satellites some day.

I'm sure we'll all sleep better knowing that something like one of these rods could come crashing through the roof at any time, right? Why would such a plan ever even be designed, I wonder? Freaky stuff, that's for sure! Thanks to the folks at Listverse for giving me something else to worry about.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Better bring your hard hat!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone...!

I'm sure that all of us can find something to be thankful for today. With that being said, I wanted to share this little reminder with you.

Have a very good Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Annie Oakley Again For Western Wednesday...!

Very few women have inspired the imagination of the early west like Annie Oakley. Seems as though her popularity is still alive and well in some circles.

A recent auction of some of Annie's artifacts brought in a pretty hefty sum just because they once belonged to her. Not bad for a woman that died in 1926, wouldn't you say?

Annie Oakley’s Gun Sells at Auction
JUNE 11, 2012 By Jennie Cohen

A rare 12-gauge shotgun that Annie Oakley once used to dazzle Queen Victoria fetched the hefty sum of $143,400 at auction yesterday. Made by Parker Brothers, the weapon is thought to have accompanied the sharpshooting celebrity when she traveled to England with Buffalo Bill Cody’s famed Wild West show in 1887. During that tour, Oakley performed for European royalty attending the queen’s Golden Jubilee.

According to Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale for Oakley’s descendants, Oakley became disenchanted with the Parker Brothers shotgun midway through her overseas stay, later presenting it as a gift to her husband’s brother.

Born Phoebe Ann Moses in an Ohio cabin in 1860, Oakley demonstrated an extraordinary gift for marksmanship at an early age. At 15 she won a shooting match against a traveling exhibition sharpshooter named Frank Butler, whom she soon married. The pair began performing together and eventually joined Buffalo Bill’s touring company. Oakley continued to set records well into her 60s; she also campaigned for women’s rights to work, participate in sports and bear arms. She died in 1926 at age 66.

Roughly 100 items that once belonged to Oakley, including the Parker Brothers shotgun, were sold in Dallas, Texas, by Heritage Auctions on Sunday. Featuring rifles, letters and photographs, among other things, the collection was put up for sale by the famous sharpshooter’s great-grandnieces. They had inherited the artifacts from their mother, Billie Butler Serene, whose grandfather was Frank Butler’s brother.

“We had decades worth of treasures in steamer trunks,” said Terrye Holcomb, one of the descendants. “My mother cherished her family, and when the family passed, this is what she clung to.”

Along with the Parker Brothers gun, other big-ticket items included a Marlin .22 caliber rifle that went for $83,650 and Oakley’s iconic Stetson hat, which brought in $17,925. The entire collection sold for $518,875.

“The intense interest and great prices this auction brought show the ongoing fascination people have with Annie Oakley and highlight the value of 125 years of careful stewardship by her loved ones,” said Tom Slater, director of historical auctions for Heritage Auctions.

Always find it amazing that some of the older legends of the Old West had a factual person at the core. This lady made a huge impression on a lot of people, all over the world.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tea Or Coffee...?

It seems as though there is a little known competition being waged about which drink is preferred by the Brits and the Americans. The answer may surprise you!

I never thought about it much until I found this article over at Listverse. As far as I know, most of the folks in my world prefer coffee as a hot drink and tea as a cold one. That thought may be wrong according to this article.

Brits Are Tea Drinkers, Americans Are Obsessed With Coffee

Nothing highlights British and American differences quite like their respective national drinks. Go-getting Americans swill more coffee than any other nation on Earth while refined Brits relax over an afternoon tea.

At least, that used to be the case. But new research shows that many Americans are falling out of love with the fabled bean. In its place, they’re turning to drinking copious amounts of tea.

In 2014, the US imported more tons of tea than Britain for the first time in modern history. (Yes, the US has a lot more people, but the point is they’re catching up.) Among young people, tea is fast becoming the drink of choice. A recent YouGov survey found that tea and coffee are equally popular among 18- to 29-year-olds, with 42 percent choosing coffee as their drink of choice and 42 percent preferring tea. By contrast, 70 percent of those over 65 would rather have a cup of joe.

Admittedly, the US still has a long way to go to catch up with the UK. In terms of per capita consumption, only Turkey and Ireland drink more tea than the British. But things are changing, especially among the young. Another YouGov survey found that only 39 percent of 18- to 24-year-old Brits put tea as their drink of choice. That’s lower than among similarly aged Americans.

Now don't get me wrong. I've tried to drink a cup of tea in the morning, but in my case nothing gets the ol' motor going like a good hot cup of coffee. Guess I'm a lost cause.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Of course, I'll find some tea for ya, if that's your thing.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Missing Gold For Monday Mystery...!

Nothing is as exciting as a good treasure story to many folks. I'm one of them.

We al know that during war, many fortunes and artifacts were looted and hidden. Most have never been found and are still being looked for today. This article from Listverse is about one of the most persistent legends from the war!

Where Is Rommel’s Gold?

German troops fleeing North Africa after defeat by Allied forces were known to have gotten away with about 200 kilograms (400 lb) of gold, referred to as “Rommel’s gold” after German field marshal Erwin Rommel. It was stolen from Jews in Tunisia and kept in six hardened steel boxes. There are three major theories as to what happened to the gold: It was either hidden somewhere in the vast deserts of North Africa, sent to Germany (although it never got there), or deliberately sunk somewhere off the coast of Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. The most probable theory is that it was deliberately sunk off Corsica with plans to retrieve it later.

Several attempts (spanning decades) to retrieve the gold have so far been futile, although one man who has been going after it for 15 years claimed that he had an idea of its location. Anyone who finds the gold would be required to share it with the French government, which would try to look for relatives of the owners.

This would be one heck of a find for someone. Maybe it isn't the biggest treasure ever gone after, but the historical value alone would make the finder famous, not to mention rich. Yes would be quite the find!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's chilly outside on the patio!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Cartoons, But An Explanation...!

I wanted to tell you why I was missing in action yesterday. We had a slight emergency at Mom's.

It started in the afternoon or in the early evening, actually. Mom wanted to get out of her lounger and use the walker. Trouble is, her legs wouldn't support her. That is a recipe for a fall. After trying several times to get her up, I had to call the next door neighbor to come and help me.

A walker is only good if you can use your legs to move around, and at this point...Mom couldn't. She also started talking in a less than normal way, leading me to think maybe she had suffered a mini-stroke. I was very concerned at this point and called the folks at 911 to come and take Mom to the hospital for an exam. Luckily we don't live too far away.

After sitting at the emergency room exam room from about 10 p.m. Friday until around 4 a.m. Saturday morning waiting for all the test to be done and evaluated, I came back home to get some rest. They were keeping her in the hospital, so there wasn't much I could do there. Baby Sis went back up to the hospital Saturday afternoon for a visit and Mom was a whole lot better. We still don't understand why tings suddenly went south so fast. Maybe I'll find out more this afternoon.

Anyway, I wanted to just let you know why I didn't show up or post something yesterday, but I sorta had my hands full. I do apologize for concern this may have caused, but sometimes life gets in the way and takes center stage, ya know? Mom has just turned 90 and at this point in time, all things like this have to be taken serious.

Anyway, thanks for your understanding and I'll try and find some way to keep you updated from now on. Thanks for letting me ramble on about this today. You guys are the best!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Do 'Gators Play Golf...?

Since this is Freaky Friday, I found the perfect story to share. I certainly think it qualifies.

Now I know that Texans are known to stretch the truth a tad from time to time, but this time I have pictures to back up the story. Just saying...

Huge alligator named 'Chubbs' caught on Houston-area golf course
By Craig Hlavaty Updated 3:41 pm, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gator wranglers Christy Kroboth and "Gator Chris" rescued this 12-foot, 600 pound alligator at Riverpointe Golf Club in Richmond, Texas outside of Houston on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. The duo nicknamed the animals "Chubbs," after the golf coach in "Happy Gilmore." It will be reintroduced back into the wild in a safer location soon.

On Wednesday, Houston's most popular gator wranglers were summoned to the River Pointe Golf Club in nearby Richmond to snare Chubbs, a 12-foot, 600-pound gator that was recently hanging out on one of the greens at that golf course. This month the world learned of the exploits of Houston’s own Gator Chris and his assistant Kroboth, who have made a name for themselves in the Houston area for alligator wrangling and conservation of the misunderstood beasts. Video of Kroboth subduing a dangerous 12-foot alligator near the First Colony Commons Shopping Center in the Sugar Land area while police looked on went viral earlier this month. The whole thing made Kroboth somewhat of an internet celebrity, with Kroboth getting interview requests from all around the country.

On Wednesday the pair sent the Houston Chronicle photos of their most recent adventure: their capture of Chubbs on a local golf course. By the way, the name Chubbs comes from 1996’s comedy hit “Happy Gilmore” starring Adam Sandler. If you’ve seen the film you might remember the fate of Sandler’s golf instructor. Luckily no instructors or golfers at the club met the same end.

Chubbs will be relocated by the gator wranglers to more hospitable digs, likely Larry Janik's alligator farm at Janik Alligators in the El Campo area. The pair are licensed and insured Alligator Nuisance Control Hunters for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

I've been wondering just how many golf balls could a 600 pound 'gator eat? Must be a lot, I reckon!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No 'gators around, I promise...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Where Did The Term "G.I." Come From...?

So many slang terms have come about over the years and often we don't get to find out their origins.

The term G.I. is one of those we have heard many times over the years and probably used many times. Here are some thoughts about the origin of the term. Not as clear cut as you might think.

Why are American soldiers called GIs?
NOVEMBER 11, 2015 By Elizabeth Nix

The origins of this popular nickname are somewhat murky. A popular theory links the term to the early 20th century, when “G.I.” was stamped on military trash cans and buckets. The two-letter abbreviation stood for the material from which these items were made: galvanized iron. Later, the definition of GI broadened and during World War I it was used to refer to all things Army-related, according to “Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language” by Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman. When this happened, GI was reinterpreted as “government issue” or “general issue.”

The prevalence of the term led soldiers in World War II to start referring to themselves as GIs. Some servicemen used it as a sarcastic reference symbolizing their belief that they were just mass-produced products of the government. During the war, GI Joe also became a term for U.S. soldiers. Cartoonist Dave Breger, who was drafted into the Army in 1941, is credited with coining the name with his comic strip titled “G.I. Joe,” which he published in a weekly military magazine called Yank, beginning in 1942. In 1964, U.S. toy company Hasbro, after taking note of competitor Mattel’s huge success with the Barbie doll (launched in 1959), debuted “G.I. Joe,” a military-themed line of action figures for boys.

Meanwhile, in June 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, which became commonly known as the GI Bill. The famous legislation provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans, including funding for college, home loans and unemployment insurance.

I hope this article from the folks at gave you a better understanding of the question. Nothing definite, but a little more insight into the term than we had before, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. That OK?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Butch Cassidy For Western Wednesday...!

Like so many others in the history of the old west, Cassidy was both real and legend.

No one knows for sure where the myth stops and the truth begins, but his life still makes for an interesting tale. With so many of the stories of men like Cassidy, it's hard to separate fact from fiction at times.

He might have earned part of his nickname while working in a butcher shop.

Cassidy's mugshot, 1894

In the early 1880s, while working at a Utah ranch, Robert LeRoy Parker met Mike Cassidy, a cowhand and small-time cattle rustler and horse thief. Parker admired the older man, who taught him about training horses and shooting a gun. However, after getting into trouble with the law, Mike Cassidy fled the area, and Parker himself departed Utah in search of new opportunities after turning 18 in 1884. Over the next few years, he spent time in the mining boom town of Telluride, Colorado, followed by Wyoming and Montana. On June 24, 1889, Parker pulled off his first bank robbery, when he and several companions absconded with more than $20,000 from the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. Not long afterward, Parker starting using the surname Cassidy, in honor of his former mentor, and referred to himself as Roy Cassidy. He eventually moved on to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where he landed a job in a butcher’s shop and, according to popular legend, became known as Butcher Cassidy, which morphed into Butch Cassidy.

Just another one of the characters that made the legend of the Old West what it is today. Part legend, part truth...and all interesting to study.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mafia's Help In The War Effort...!

You would never think that the government would turn to the Mafia for help during the war. Truth is, the waterfront was ruled pretty tight by the mafia bosses.

I'm sure that a lot of the details of the agreement would never be made public, but help was given and may have been very useful. Even to this day, we don't know just how much the mafia helped but any help had to be appreciated, I would think.

What was Operation Underworld?
NOVEMBER 16, 2015 By Christopher Klein

Mugshot of Italian-American mobster Charles Luciano.

On the afternoon of February 9, 1942, smoke billowed over Manhattan’s west side as a fire consumed SS Normandie, a huge French luxury liner being converted into an American World War II troop transport. Although witnesses reported sparks from a worker’s acetylene torch started the blaze, many feared Nazi saboteurs were to blame, particularly in light of the arrest of 33 German agents in the Duquesne Spy Ring only months earlier. In the inferno’s wake, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence became so concerned about enemy spies operating along New York’s waterfront that it enlisted a most unlikely partner in the war effort—the Mafia.

In March 1942, with the recruitment of Fulton Fish Market kingpin Joseph “Socks” Lanza, Naval Intelligence officers launched the top-secret “Operation Underworld.” Lanza agreed to furnish union cards to agents operating undercover in the market and aboard coastal fishing fleets. Authorities were particularly concerned that pro-fascist sympathizers of Germany’s top ally, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, lurked among the Italian immigrants who worked as longshoremen in New York. However, Lanza explained that their cooperation could be secured by the imprisoned mobster Charles “Lucky” Luciano, who still wielded absolute power on the docks even after six years behind bars. With his top aide Meyer Lansky acting as an intermediary, Luciano agreed to assist the government and ordered his capos to act as lookouts and report any suspicious activity. Luciano’s contacts even assisted in the Allies’ 1943 amphibious invasion of Sicily by providing maps of the island’s harbors, photographs of its coastline and names of trusted contacts inside the Sicilian Mafia, who also wished to see Mussolini toppled.

Still with between 20 and 40 years left on his sentence, Luciano filed a petition for executive clemency on May 8, 1945—the same day World War II ended in Europe. Ironically, the man who had prosecuted the mobster a decade earlier, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, pardoned Luciano in January 1946 due to his assistance in the war effort and ordered him deported to his native Italy. The ultimate effectiveness of “Operation Underworld” has been questioned, but no other ships suffered the same fate as Normandie for the duration of World War

I'm sure there were many agreements under the table, so to speak, that gave us a bit of help in the war. Some may have been good...some may have been not so good. These types of arrangements could have made the difference between winning and losing. You just never know!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, OK?

Monday, November 16, 2015

A War-time Puzzle For Monday Mystery...!

Did you know that one of the best puzzles to come out of the war (WW2 ) had a crossword puzzle at it's core? True!

Simple as it sounds, many people have tried to solve the case of the crossword puzzles with secret code names attached. The results are really still a mystery. From Listverse, here is a story that might keep you guessing.

Who Put The D-Day Code Names And ‘Dieppe’ In A Crossword Puzzle?

The word “Dieppe” turned out to be one of the solutions to a crossword puzzle in Daily Telegraph newspapers in August 1942. This looks quite normal, until you realize that two days after the puzzle ran (and one day after its solution was given), Allied troops launched a deadly assault on the French port of Dieppe.

MI5, Britain’s intelligence service, spotted this but ignored it as a coincidence. Two years later, more puzzles appeared in the Daily Telegraph. This time, they had answers like “Utah,” “Overlord,” “Omaha,” “Mulberry,” and “Neptune,” all of which were directly related to the upcoming D-Day landings. The entire landing operation was called “Operation Overlord.” “Omaha” and “Utah” were code names for beaches that would be assaulted. “Mulberry” was the code name for the temporary harbors that were to be constructed after the assault, while “Neptune” was the code for the entire D-Day naval operation.

Leonard Dawe, a school principal who was also responsible for the Telegraph’s crossword puzzles, was detained and questioned about how he came across the codes. No one really knows how, since he refused to speak about his time in detention. In 1984, one of his former students named Ronald French revealed that Dawe used to make him and several others fill blank crossword puzzles. French was very familiar with the codes (since he often heard them from Allied troops camping close to the school), and might have filled them in, although he was not sure if he did. However, two years before French talked, another unnamed boy said that he put down the names. No one knows who the unnamed boy is. If he was truly responsible for the D-Day puzzles, who was responsible for the Dieppe puzzle? Was that instance truly just a coincidence?

Seems to be one of those timeless mysteries we may never really know the truth about, wouldn't you say? One heck of a coincidence, that's for sure!

Coffee out on the patio before the rain comes in.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Children In Church For Sunday...!

Many parents with young children may be able to associate with this. Might even sound like something you had to go through. Some things are hard to forget!

Children in Church

 A little boy was in a relative's wedding. As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd. While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar. So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle. As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit. When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said, "I was being the Ring Bear."

 One Sunday in a Midwest City , a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"

 One particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets." A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."

A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

 A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages as he turned them. Then something fell out of the Bible. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found," the boy called out.. "What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked. With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered, "It's Adam 's suit".

 The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"

 Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church." "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."

 My grandson was visiting one day when he asked , "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo, while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied.

 A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking, "Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin ?"

 A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, "Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife.

Children! You just gotta love 'em! Out of the mouth of babes, right?

Coffee out on the chilly patio this morning.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Crash Of The Tulip Mania Bubble...!

We have all seen how something can suddenly catch on and begin a maniacal frenzy to own them. Remember the Cabbage Patch Dolls, for instance?

Well, believe it or not, the beautiful Tulip became the center of such a craze at one time. Many people were ruined when the Tulip bubble burst.

Tulip Mania

Credit: Gierth/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Tulip flowers have often been used to symbolize love, but in 17th century Holland, they came to represent doom for many overzealous investors. The Dutch fell head over heels for tulips shortly after the lilies were first introduced to Europe in the mid-16th century. Tulips became a powerful status symbol, and nobles and middle class admirers alike began scrambling to get their hands on rare specimens. By the 1630s, Tulip marts had sprung up in city centers, and bulbs were traded in the same way as modern stocks on Wall Street. A single tulip bulb often sold for the same price as everything from a carriage and a pair of horses to 1,000 pounds of cheese.

Tulip mania continued unabated until February 1637, when the market collapsed after a few of the bigger players decided to sell out. Prices plummeted, and a brief panic ensued as investors raced to dump their stores of lilies. “Substantial merchants were reduced almost to beggary,” wrote Charles Mackay, who later helped popularized the story of the tulip craze. “Many a representative of a noble line saw the fortunes of his house ruined beyond redemption.” The Dutch government formed a commission to clean up the tulip mess, but the economy sank into a minor depression in the years that followed.

Who would have ever thought that something like a flower, no matter how pretty, would cause an economic collapse. Certainly not the folks in the government, I suspect.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning, OK?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Man, How Gun Laws Have Changed.!

When we look back on the old laws regarding guns and the open carry situation, the change is major.

It's almost like the government went from one extreme to another, ya know? I wonder just how popular the first laws were?

The Obligation To Arms

In early America, it was generally the law that all men older than 16 bear arms. In some areas, exceptions were made for certain ethnic groups or people whose loyalty and trustworthiness was in doubt. But for the most part, men were expected to carry a gun everywhere.

In 1619, Virginia enacted a statute that ordered everyone to come to church on the Sabbath with their guns. If they didn’t, they would be fined three shillings. In 1643, Connecticut law stated that everyone was expected to come to church with “a musket, pystoll or some peece, with powder and shott.” The Massachusetts Bay Colony had similar laws in place, designed to help protect the town’s population from the constant threat of attacks.

These laws also applied to town and public meetings. In Rhode Island, anyone who showed up without a gun and ammunition would be fined five shillings. Most of the earliest laws specified that each weapon needed to have at least one charge, but by 1657, a Plymouth law raised that to six charges.

In the 1630s, there were also laws requiring people who traveled through particular areas to be armed. Rhode Island law stated that anyone traveling more than 3 kilometers (2 mi) out of town had to carry a gun or pay a five-shilling fine. No one was allowed to travel the road between Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colony alone or unarmed. Maryland’s vaguely worded law stated that no one was allowed “any considerable distance from home” without a weapon prepped to fire at least once.

I can't help but wonder if folks would have armed themselves without being forced into it by the PTB. Guess that's a question we'll never have the answer to.

Cofee in the kitchen this morning. Just a tad chilly outside today.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Case Of The Missing Brains...!

Isn't it amazing that some institutes can lose something like a hundred or more human brains? Seems a bit strange to me, but what do I know?

I know that many of us have heard about Einsteins brain going missing, so I have to wonder what the problem is with brains and why is it so hard to keep track of them. It's not like you can accidentally run them through the wash cycle, or leave them in the garage, ya know? Something seems to be a tad off, if you ask me.

Charles Whitman’s Brain

Photo credit: Gaetan Lee

In the 1950s, the Austin State Hospital (formerly the Texas State Lunatic Asylum) began collecting the brains of its deceased patients to determine if mental illness had a physical component. These brains were preserved in jars that were carefully labeled with the patients’ names and diagnoses, with around 200 specimens canned and shelved over approximately 30 years.

In 1986, storage space was becoming a problem. The hospital offered to give the brains to anyone who wanted to use them as a research tool. With major universities vying to get them, the collection was eventually transferred to the University of Texas in 1987.

Among the brains was that of Charles Whitman, the infamous ex-Marine who climbed a tower at the University of Texas in 1966 and started shooting. By the time he was shot dead by police, Whitman had already killed 16 people and wounded 32 more. Earlier, he had killed his wife and mother. Whitman left a note requesting that someone look at his brain to find a reason for all the thoughts he’d been having. Later, it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. In the mid-1990s, researchers took a look at the university’s collection of brains, which had only been gathering dust until that time. When they searched for Whitman’s brain, they couldn’t find it. Along with about 100 other brains, it had disappeared.

Various people at the university came up with different excuses to explain the missing brains. The possibilities included that the brains had been moved, thrown away, placed in storage elsewhere, or returned to the state asylum. The state said they never got the brains back.

According to a December 2014 update, between 40 and 60 of the brains were destroyed by the university because they had degraded to the point of being unusable for research. However, the university said that Whitman’s brain was not among them, now claiming that they had never received his brain in the first place.

Call me crazy, but if I were in charge I'd want to know just what happened to all those missing brains. Evidently someone isn't keeping very good records, or there is a thriving black market for human brains that we don't know about! Are we maybe feeding a zombie colony somewhere?

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More Jesse James For Western Wednesday...!

It seems that some characters from our early history never really go out of style, ya know? Jess James was one of those figures.

No one can truly say what it is about the James boys that makes them stand out so much, but nearly everybody knows the name if not the deeds. Guess that's what it means to be a legend.

Jesse James was larger than life—so much that his body required two graves.

Few outlaws were as notorious during their own lifetimes as Jesse James. Though he lived a quiet existence in Kearney, Missouri, after his bank robbing days were over, old friends—and enemies—never forgot him. After Jesse was murdered, he was buried in the front yard of his farm to thwart grave robbers. As the years passed and his enemies died off, he was reinterred in a Kearney cemetery by his family. So who’s that lying in the Jesse James grave in Granbury, Texas? A man named J. Frank Dalton who came forward around 1948, at age 101, claiming he was the “real” Jesse James. A court even allowed him to legally adopt the bandit’s name. No one knows why Dalton made this claim or if he ever had any link to Jesse James, although there is a very small chance he was the youngest member of the Dalton gang James rode with in the bank raid of Northfield, Minnesota. Regardless, mitochondrial DNA showed decades later that James is indeed buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney—but his legend also lives on in Granbury.

I wonder if it really matters just where these folks are buried or how they died. The main thing to most people is that the memory of Jesse James is alive and well in their minds, right? Everyone needs a hero or legend, I reckon.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Hot oven fresh cinnamon rolls are available, OK?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

No Post Due To Monitor Problems...!

Sorry, but monitor is going out so no post. Hopefully tomorrow, OK?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fire Eater For Monday Mystery...!

There has always been a fascination with folks that can do strange things with and to their swallow fire and hot objects. The common term for someone like this is Fire-eaters.

This person was considered a superstar in her day, but suddenly she was no where to be found. Here is a bit of her story.

Jo Girardelli

In the early 1800s, Jo Girardelli was the hot new fire act on the block. Taking on a whole new angle on fire acts, Girardelli was able to swallow red-hot objects without it causing her any pain or harm. Those who saw her perform were amazed at what was happening before their eyes.

Girardelli was able to “rinse” her mouth with nitric acid without it burning holes in her gums and cheeks. To prove that she really had the acid in her mouth and not some harmless fluid, she would spit it onto iron where it would immediately start eating through the metal. Girardelli also played around with boiling oil, filling her mouth with it and then spitting it out, causing a minor fire when it landed on wood.

Jo Girardelli didn’t stop there. All of her acts had to be bigger and better, so she started using hot wax and molten lead. She heated metal objects, such as shovels, over open fires and then pressed them against her skin. She even pressed her tongue against some of them. In all of these acts, her flesh remained just as it was before—completely unburned.

She remained a hot topic all over England, and no one was ever able to figure out just how she did what she did. Not even the skeptics were able to prove any trickery on her part. There is no record of Jo’s life after she moved from England, and her amazing acts remain as mysterious as ever.

Makes you wonder just where the fire eater went, doesn't it? Seems like history would have some mention of her somewhere, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cartoon Sunday With Popeye...!

Last weekend almost felt like a cartoon at times, what with all the visitors we had. This week we will stick with the regular ' Popeye.

One thing you have to admit about ol' Popeye, he doesn't have real good taste in women. At least, as far as I can tell. But hey, to each his own, right? Right!

Well, that's all I have for today. Hope you all have a great week ahead, OK?

Better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Bird Nightmare...!

Remember the movie "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock? That's what this story reminds me of.

Don't get me wrong. I like birds, I really do. But I might have to change my mind if I went through what this couple did. In fact, we all might have second thoughts about being a fan of our fine feathered friends!

Hundreds Of Birds Invade A Couple’s Home

A California couple had just come back from a small vacation when they were astonished to find hundreds of birds all over (and inside) their house, just chilling out and enjoying themselves. They were everywhere and making quite a mess, as you can imagine. An ornithologist who was asked about the situation explained that they were a type of swift that tends to migrate at that time of year and had likely mistaken the couple’s chimney for a tree, where they would normally roost. Luckily they’re not any danger to humans even in such numbers, just a major nuisance.

They left the couple’s home before long but returned once more in large numbers, circling for a while before entering through the chimney. After shooing the birds out once again, the fire department installed a grate to ensure that none could get through. This didn’t stop the birds from attempting to get in again.

This may sound like an odd anomaly, but this couple isn’t the first to report large amounts of birds flying down a chimney and deciding to set up shop for a while. While it’s good that these kinds of birds are not dangerous, we certainly don’t want to imagine what it would be like to clean up the mess they must have left behind on their way out.

I don't know about you, but that is one mess I wouldn't want to clean up. This bird nightmare was found over at Listverse, of course!

Coffee in the kitchen. Kinda wet outside again.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thanks For The Pizza Bag...!

Here is another styory about a woman inventor and the contribution she made to all of us using home delivery for pizza.

The carry-all for pizza is one of those things I never gave much thought to, ya know? Makes you appreciate it just a little more when you know the history. I can't afford home delivery pizza anymore, so I switched over to Digiorno which I like better anyway. It taste as good and is way cheaper than any home delivery around here. Half as much, in fact!

Ingrid Kosar
Invented The Pizza Bag

If you’ve ever had a pizza delivered, then you owe a debt of gratitude to Ingrid Kosar. Before Ingrid came along, chains like Domino’s and Papa John’s had a tough time delivering pizzas because no one knew how to keep the food warm during the long trek between the restaurant and the customer’s front door.

Some people wrapped the pizzas (which were already in cardboard boxes) in blankets. Some even kept sterno heaters in the backseat of their cars which, obviously, was kind of dangerous. Fortunately, Ingrid Kosar had the perfect solution, an invention that revolutionized the delivery business. Ingrid created the pizza bag.

Inspired after finding a lunch bag made of padded cotton, Ingrid teamed up with a friend named Bill Seliskar, and the two started mixing and matching fabrics in an effort to design the perfect pizza bag. To test her inventions, Ingrid actually bought multiple pizzas and drove them around town in her prototype pouches, trying to keep the pies at 60 degrees Celsius (140 °F) for 45 minutes.

In addition to retaining heat, Ingrid needed to create a bag that was easy to grip, could hold several pizzas at once, and would prevent any grease from dripping out. After quite a bit of tinkering, Ingrid started her own business in 1983—Thermal Bags by Ingrid—and after an aggressive PR campaign, she convinced Domino’s to place a $10,000 order. Soon, she was servicing other chains like Papa John’s and even providing bags for the US military. According to Ingrid, her products showed up in “outer space aboard a shuttle mission” and “inside the White House kitchen during President George H.W. Bush’s term."

Unfortunately, things have gotten difficult since her patent expired in the early 2000s and other companies started making cheaper, inferior knock-offs. But despite competition and bankruptcy, Thermal Bags by Ingrid is still alive and kicking. So the next time you have a pizza delivered, remember to thank Ingrid for keeping your dinner nice and hot.

Who would have ever thought that so much research was given to the humble pizza bag? I certainly didn't knbow!

Coffee out on the patio this morning until the rain starts again!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The History Of "Kilroy Was Here"...!

We've all seen the face of Kilroy. It's been around for a very long time.Did you ever wonder just where it got it's start? Well, thanks to the folks at Listverse, I'm gonna tell ya!

Kilroy Was Here

Photo credit: Luis Rubio

A war might be a strange source for fads, but soldiers need some way to entertain themselves, too. That is why “Kilroy was here” appeared during World War II. The piece of graffiti showed a bald man with a long nose sticking his head over a wall. It was simple, easy to draw, and lighthearted enough to become a popular recurring joke that endured even once the war was over.

Although Kilroy was firmly associated with America GIs, it was inspired by an older British drawing known as Mr. Chad. Chad, allegedly the 1938 creation of British cartoonist George Chatterton, also poked his bald head over the wall and said “Wot? No tea?” (Tea was substituted with sugar, tobacco, or whatever else was in short supply.)

By the end of the war, there were thousands of “Kilroy was here” drawings all over Europe and America, so this was clearly the work of thousands of soldiers, not just one guy bored out of his mind. But was there ever a real Kilroy? More than one person came forward as the real Kilroy, but the generally accepted origin is one James J. Kilroy, a shipyard inspector during the war. He had a habit of scribbling “Kilroy was here” in crayon on ships that passed inspection. In 1946, the Transit Company of America held a contest to find the real Kilroy, and James provided them with enough evidence to claim the prize, his very own trolley car.

Funny how some things survived the war to become almost a permanent fixture of modern society, isn't it? It's comforting to know that some small symbol managed to show that the humor could endure in the soldiers in spite of the darkness of the times.

Coffee out on the nice, cool patio this morning!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Slander Of Annie Oakley...!

I reckon that as long as there has been folk heroes, someone has  always been wanting to take them down. No one knows why, but the Trolls are always waiting in the wings!

Who would have ever figured that Annie Oakley would be the target of a malicious attack by one of the biggest newspaper owners of her time. Certainly not me. As reported in this story from Listverse, she was not one to stand by and suffer the attack quietly, but fought to clear her name. The woman certainly had spunk, that's for sure!

Annie Oakley
Alleged Cocaine User

Photo credit: Baker’s Art Gallery

Born in 1860, Annie Oakley had all but retired from the public eye as one of the West’s most famous sharpshooters by 1901. The best at what she did, Oakley was always the product of a carefully groomed reputation. For example, she was rarely, if ever, shown killing animals in her shooting stunts, and she was always dressed like a proper Victorian lady.

So when William Randolph Hearst ran a story saying that Oakley had been caught stealing to fund her cocaine habit, the country loved it. The story went turn-of-the-century viral, running in 55 papers across the country before the perpetrator was revealed to be a burlesque dancer of questionable morals who had billed herself as “Any Oakley.”

In days, the bogus tale destroyed an image that Oakley had worked a lifetime to create. But she sued each newspaper for libel, traveling across the country and winning or settling 54 out of the 55 cases. It took seven years, and in the end, her defense was so expensive that she lost money despite receiving large monetary settlements.

If Oakley hadn’t fought back, Hearst’s story had the potential to change the way America remembered one of the most well-known female shooters in history. In the middle of the fight, Hearst even hired some private investigators to dig up dirt he could use against her. When they came back with nothing, he—and his newspapers—were forced to pay up and admit that Oakley didn’t have a cocaine habit after all.

Most of the time the truth will surface and win out, but only if it's pursued with a passion and fury that comes from being in the right! To bring a man with the power of Hearst to the point of surrender was no easy task, but Annie beat him and did it with dignity. Score one for the good guys!

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heard Of Project 112 Or Project Shad...?

Every now and then I find stories about some of the test that were performed on our citizens, sometimes without consent. I would have never believed that the PTB here in our country would do this.

It's one thing to do test on persons that volunteer or know what the side effects might be, but to do so on folks without telling them the whole truth about the test is just wrong!

Project 112 And Project SHAD

In 2002, the US military started reaching out to veterans who may have been involved in Project 112 or Project SHAD. Both operations involved exposing personnel to substances chosen to act as stand-ins for biological weapons, allowing researchers to see how they spread. Project 112 was done at the Deseret Test Center in Utah in a series of tests from 1962–73, and Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) was done aboard warships in waters around the world.

The details of the project might have remained under wraps for much longer than they did if it wasn’t for the Department of Veteran Affairs requesting an investigation into the operations, as well as information on whether or not service members’ health may have been compromised. Nearly 6,000 people, both military personnel and Department of Defense civilian staff, were exposed to the tests, with and without knowledge. When information about the tests was released, it was thought that the agents released were harmless. However, it was also stressed that veterans with concerns should come forward and that it was acceptable to reveal information about dates, places, and possible side effects with health care providers.
There’s a long list of biological agents that the test subjects were exposed to, including Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (which causes food poisoning). They also used some pretty horrific nerve toxins, including sarin (now classified as a weapon of mass destruction) and soman (a clear, colorless liquid that can cause death in minutes). Both can be fatal if only the tiniest amount gets on the skin.

I can't help but wonder just how many other things our people have been exposed to without their knowledge. Any is way too much, in my opinion! If it wasn't for the folks over at Listverse, I would have never heard of this practice

Coffee out on the patio this morning. The sun is looking nice so far today!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lewis Chessmen For Monday Mystery...!

So many times artifacts are found that no one can explain. Must be aggravating for the people trying to figure out their history.

The Lewis Chessmen

Photo credit: Christian Bickel

In 1831, chess pieces were discovered in a sand dune on the Isle of Lewis. They were carved from walrus ivory and whale teeth into small statues depicting royalty, bishops, mounted knights, warders, and pawns. Beautifully detailed and measuring 6–10 centimeters (2–4 in) in height, the four distinct chess sets were incomplete but had 93 game pieces in all.

Even today, nobody knows where they came from or who made them. While some people believe the origins of these sets are Irish, Scottish, or English, it’s most likely that Scandinavian hands formed the iconic pieces. The figures appear to have been heavily influenced by Norse mythology. The age of the artifacts dates from the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a time when Norway owned the beach where they were found.

Despite being over eight centuries old, the condition of these chess sets is pristine, almost like they were never used. Another theory is that the chessmen aren’t chess pieces at all but rather belong to a hnefatafl set, a game similar to chess. Whatever their true history, the Lewis chessmen remain one of Scotland’s most famous ancient finds and the largest known group of objects to survive from that era.

Isn't it amazing how some pieces like this can stay so nice when exposed to the elements for so long? The workmanship had to be way better than most of the articles we see around us now days.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's still drizzling rain outside!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mom Is Turning 90 Today...!

Instead of having cartoons today, I'm taking the day off to help Mom celebrate her 90TH birthday today. Both my sisters are here and we've invited many out of town folks (plus in town people as well) to drop by and help in bring in this new chapter in Mom's journey.

When you stop and thing about it, turning 90 is a pretty big deal, especially if you are still living at home and can get around. True, you may have to use a walker but being able to move from room to room is much better than being bed ridden, in my opinion. Another good thing is that she still has friends that are near her age that she can visit with and talk over old times. That does make a difference, I reckon.

My sister from North Carolina has been here for a couple of weeks to visit with Mom and to give me a much needed break. I've really enjoyed the extra free time, believe me! I do hope that doesn't come across as selfish, but I needed a breather.

Anyway, with a houseful of company and cousins coming in and out, I figured it would be OK for me to forgo the 'toons for today. There will be sandwiches and all kinds of finger foods to go round, plus punch and coffee and tea...just in case any of you guys wanted to drop by! Everybody is welcome and Mom would enjoy the company, I'm sure!

We better have coffee in the kitchen this morning, mainly because of the flooded streets and possible rain. You have a great day, OK?

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!!