Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Creepy Story For Thursday...!

Some people can be really creepy and strange. Some of the crimes commited by folks like this go far beyond reason.

Sadly, many of the people affected by these crimes may be unaware that anything is wrong, and the crimes are only discovered after the fact Here is one of those stories.

Bobby Wilks

In 1988, Bobby Wilks was 51-years-old and he had been the funeral director at the Barber Funeral Home in Cross Plains, Tennessee, for at least 20 years. At the gravesites, Wilks would often advise the families of the deceased to not watch the lowering of the casket because it might be too difficult. Many families heeded his advice; after all, he was the expert when it came to funerals.

In October 1988, Wilks gave a family his usual gravesite spiel, and the pall bearers walked away from the gravesite of their deceased loved one, but kept Wilks in their sight. That’s when they saw Wilks throw some potted flowers into the grave and he didn’t put on the lid of the vault, a $375 add-on that Wilks had sold them. They went to the police and they arrested Wilks.

Once Wilks’ arrest made the news, other families filed complaints against him. The only way to check the claims was to exhume bodies that were buried by Wilks and 30 graves in all were dug up. Like the initial case that Wilks was arrested for, some of the graves were buried without vaults, but sadly, that was only the beginning and the least offensive thing he did. At least 10 coffins were stuffed with garbage like bottles, dirty diapers, used cans of dog food, and bags of hair. At least two coffins were buried on their side and one had an arm sticking out of the coffin. That suggests that Wilks didn’t lower the caskets, they were just dumped in. However, those people were lucky to get a casket. One man was buried without one. A gravedigger who helped exhume the bodies said that it was like Wilks was angry at the dead.

In October 1989, Wilks pleaded guilty to 48 different charges and was sentenced to 28 years and 11 months in prison.

You have to wonder just how messed up this man's mind was. How anyone could desecrate the dead like that just goes beyond crazy to me. I feel for the families involved, that's for sure! I got this story from Listverse.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stagecoach Mary For Western Wednesday...!

We have talked about Mary before, but I figured we could pay her another visit.

While there were many colorful men in the old west, not many women are heard about. That's one reason that Mary is so unique. Not only was she colorful, but quite well known in certain states. Interesting history surrounding Mary, as this article from Listverse shows.

Mary Fields

Photo via Wikimedia

Also known as “Stagecoach Mary,” Mary Fields was one of the most formidable women of the Old West. Said to be a match for any man, she enjoyed brawling and was known to brag that she could knock any challenger out with a single punch. Newspapers of the time claimed that she broke more noses than anyone else in central Montana and she always backed herself up with a six-shooter holstered under her apron. She liked to drink, smoked bad homemade cigars, and was so respected in her adopted hometown of Cascade, Montana, that her birthday was made a school holiday every year.

Born a slave in Tennessee, Mary gained her freedom after the Civil War. She subsequently worked on the steamboat Robert E. Lee during its famous race with the Natchez, when the crew even tossed ham and bacon into the boilers and sat on the release valves to build the steam pressure higher. In 1885, she moved to Cascade, Montana, to work for the nuns of St. Peter’s Convent. She did all the heavy work, including hauling supplies, carpentry, and stonemasonry. One of her most famous deeds came when wolves attacked her supply wagon during a night run. The horses were spooked and the wagon overturned, but Mary stood guard over the supplies until morning, keeping the wolves at bay with her trusty revolver.

The nuns loved Mary, but she was forced to resign after Montana’s first Catholic bishop heard of her brawling and a rumored gunfight. Shortly afterward, she hitched a team of horses faster than any other applicant and was hired to deliver mail to the towns around Cascade, braving blizzards and harsh terrain in the process. She was 60 at the time and only the second woman ever hired by the US Postal Service.

There was also a softer side to Mary. She loved baseball and always presented the Cascade team with bouquets of flowers from her garden. She babysat for most of the children in town, including the actor Gary Cooper, who recalled her fondly later in life. After retiring from delivering mail, she tried to open a restaurant, but went broke because she always let those in need eat for free. When her house burned down in 1912, the whole town came together to build her a new one. A 1910 contract to lease a hotel in town includes a clause stipulating that Mary could always eat for free. She was also the only woman allowed to drink in the local saloon. She passed away of liver failure in 1914.

Yes indeed...I'd say Mary was quite the character. One of those types that certainly helped to create the "Wild, Wild West!"

Coffee in the kitchen this morning because it's storming again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Strange Superstitions About Ships...!

There should be no surprise at the number of superstitions in the maritime profession. Racked with mysteries and legends by the boatload (no pun intended ), the seas are certainly prime for superstitions concerning ships.

Ship Names

Some seafarers believe that a ship with a name ending in the letter “A” will have bad luck all around. It is thought that this superstition came about with the sinking of the Lusitania and Britannia during World War I.

It is also feared that changing a ship’s name will cause bad luck to befall it. An example of this superstition in action is the ship that used to be called Aurora. Before Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica in 1914, he renamed his ship Endurance. He wanted to see the whole of the continent during his journey, but the ship became stuck in the ice and ended up being completely destroyed. Fortunately, Shackleton and his entire crew were rescued.

The reasoning behind the name change belief is that superstitious sailors believe that once a boat or ship is named and inaugurated, it has a personality and life of its own. If a new name must be given, a de-naming event is required to take place first. One can do this by putting the existing name of the ship in a wooden container and burning the entire thing. Afterward, the remains of the burnt container must be scattered into the ocean.

It's actually a small wonder that there are so many superstitions surrounding the sea and the ships that travel on it. Because of the very size of the seas and the nature of ocean travel, legends and myths (along with all their superstitions) were bound to follow.

Coffee out on the patio, after the morning rain.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Devil's Footprints For Monday Mystery...!

This is one of those cases that would seem like an urban legend at first glance, but is pretty well documented.

Seems to have happened in other parts of the world as well, which would lend to it's validation. This article came from Listverse again.

The Devil’s Footprints

Devil FootprintsThe Devil’s Footprints was the name given to a peculiar phenomenon that occurred in Devon, England on 8 February 1855. After a light snowfall, during the night, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and eight inches apart, continued throughout the countryside for a total of over 100 miles, and, although veering at various points, for the greater part of their course followed straight lines. Houses, rivers, haystacks and other obstacles were travelled straight over, and footprints appeared on the tops of snow-covered roofs and high walls which lay in the footprints’ path, as well as leading up to and exiting various drain pipes of as small as a four inch diameter. Reports of similar anomalous, obstacle-unheeded footprints exist from other parts of the world, although none is of such a scale as that of the case of the Devil’s Footprints.

This is a strange one indeed. Seems too elaborate to be a hoax, and the fact that it has been to other countries is curious as well.

Coffee out on the patio today. Keep an eye out for strange footprints.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

No Post Today...!

No post here due to an unexpected visit from my oldest and my grand daughter! I hope you understand!

Help yourself to the coffee pot. You know where it is!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Don't Like Spiders...!

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I don't like spiders!

Although some of them eat the 'skeeters and such, something about spiders just gives me the creeps, ya know? Here's one that has a different way of hunting than most. You might find it interesting.

Spitting Spider

Photo credit: Andre Karwath

Forgoing a web for a more mobile mode of hunting, members of the family Scytodidae, the spitting spiders, constitute a particularly unique form of arachnid exceptionalism. Spitting spiders lack the silk-producing spinnerets common to more typical spiders.

Instead, these creatures live in forests and scamper around in pursuit of small prey items, which they capture by spitting a sticky, venom-infused mixture of fluids that immobilize the prey. The fluids are expelled from the poison glands and then fall upon the prey.

Next, the spider seizes the victim and injects a powerful venom that liquefies the insides of the prey before consumption. With a spindly appearance, the spiders have notably large venom glands to facilitate their copious spraying of venom and mucus.

The larger the prey, the greater the amount of mucus lobbed in its direction. The mucus is distributed through a head-shaking, spraying motion. Furthermore, these spiders have an interesting reproductive history to complement their remarkable hunting strategies. Females take two to three years to reach maturity and select males based on their pheromones. Mating takes place based on chance encounters, with care being taken by males to avoid being mistaken for prey.

Just what I need! A spider that actually spits at me. Bad enough when I get the web across my face and beard, now I have to worry about them spitting on me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Watch out for spiders, though!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Making Clothes From Gelatin...?

We are always searching for "greener" products to use, right? Here's one that might surprise ya!


You know gelatin as the stuff in your JELL-O, some frosted cereals, and sometimes even yogurt. Where you won’t find gelatin is in your clothes.


While you probably think of gelatin as being gooey and jiggly in consistency, it’s actually a powder made from crushed skin, cartilage, bone marrow, and other animal by-products. This makes it a perfect candidate for a sustainable, less wasteful material from which to make clothes.

Researchers have succeeded in spinning yarn out of gelatin. The yarn is then treated with a spray of formaldehyde gas and lanolin, producing a strong, warm yarn you can spin into gummy-bear mittens (sugary flavor not included).

Using gelatin to make clothes isn’t all that weird, either. The textile industry experimented with using vegetable and food by-products as far back as a century ago, until the petroleum-based industry took over.

Today, as we look for greener and less biologically harmful ways to live, scientists—and designers—are looking for more natural sources for what we wear. It might sound strange now, but you probably won’t give a second thought to wearing JELL-O socks, bamboo dresses, or sour milk shirts in the future.

I found this information interesting, to say the least. I can get behind most of the alternate ways for making clothes, except maybe for the sour milk shirts! Gotta draw the line at some point, ya know? You can thank the folks over at Listverse for the info.

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The "Benjamin Button" Jellyfish...!

Did you know that there are some jellyfish that can reverse their aging process?

Scientist are studying the creature to see if any helpful knowledge can be gained for use by humans. I can see where growing younger instead of older might appeal to some folks, I don't think I want to sign up for this program just yet. Still, it's something interesting to find out about, right?

What Is The Secret To The Immortality Of Some Jellyfish Species?

Photo credit: Bachware /Wikimedia

The “Benjamin Button” jellyfish has an incredibly unique feature. While they normally reproduce and die in a manner you would expect, if they see serious trauma, they can reverse the aging process and start transforming themselves to a younger state of existence. This allows them to heal from injuries and survive great stress as a species and is currently making them a great threat to the world’s oceans. They are starting to crowd out parts of the oceans, making it difficult for other marine life to propagate and provide proper balance.

While scientists are skeptical that there is any answer to true immortality from jellyfish, others say we mustn’t dismiss the possibility of learning great things from them. These jellyfish can reactivate earlier programs encoded into their DNA and also switch cells to almost anything they need to be. If we could learn even a few things from how they can accomplish this, we could potentially use it to fight the spread of cancer. Unfortunately, it may be a long time before we find out if these jellyfish can provide us with that stronger anti-cancer weapon, as there is little if any research currently involved in the study of these amazing creatures.

Imagine that! Learning to live longer from a jellyfish! Pretty wild, I'd say. I got this article from Listverse, so gotta give credit where credit is due.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Don't jellyfish around here!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bob Lemmons For Western Wednesday...!

We sometimes forget about the working cowboys when we think of the "Wild West!" Some of the hard working men were former slaves that took to the cowboy work after gaining their freedom, and that's what Bob Lemmons did.

Bob Lemmons

Bob Lemmons was known for his extraordinary skill at capturing wild mustangs. After growing up a slave, he gained his freedom and moved to an area of West Texas overrun with the wild horses. He became a cowboy for a local rancher named Duncan Lammons, who gave Bob his surname, which changed spelling slightly over the years. Bob farmed and herded cattle for Duncan. Most importantly, he learned about horses from the experienced rancher.

At the time, mustangs were highly prized steeds and no one could equal Bob’s skill at capturing them. His unique approach involved gaining the herd’s trust over a period of time. Whereas a large group of people might have spooked the herd, Bob always worked alone, until he was able to infiltrate the herd without alarming the horses. Then he would mount and break the leading horse. Once the leader was conquered, the rest of the herd would follow it back to the ranch.

This was lucrative work and Bob was able to save up a significant amount of money. He eventually bought his own ranch and built up large herds of horses and cattle. He and his wife Barbara later became known for their generosity during the hard times of the Great Depression. He died in 1947, just one year short of his 100th birthday.

Sounds like ol' Bob lived a full life doing what he loved. He lived a long time, and more than likely died a satisfied man.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. OK with you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strange Entertainment For Tuesday...!

Sometimes I do believe that we go way too far in the search for some entertainment. This was particularly true during the Victorian era.

In the days before television, going to a sporting event meant attending one in person. Amazingly some of these events became very popular and had some super stars (their version, anyway ).


Photo credit: Joseph Becker.

In the 19th century, competitive walking was the most popular spectator sport in America. The sport, known as pedestrianism, was born out boredom by the people who migrated to the cities after the Civil War and needed a new form of entertainment. In filled arenas, competitors walked around tracks almost nonstop from Mondays to Saturdays in front of spectators. (Sundays were excluded because public amusement was not allowed on that day.) The competitors walked to see who could cover the most distance during the race’s duration. Some of these competitors would reportedly walk up to 160 kilometers (100 mi) in 24 hours.

The sport was so popular that celebrities were known to visit arenas during the event. Future president Chester Arthur was a regular spectator at the arena. As in modern sports, there were rivalries among the stars, who earned a fortune from the prize money and sponsorship deals. There were scandals over fixing games and over drugs.

Pedestrianism was eventually replaced by competitive cycling after the invention of the safety bicycle by John Starley in 1885.

Somehow I have a hard time finding any excitement in watching someone walking around a race track. Doesn't really get my juices flowing, ya know?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. We can watch the grass grow for excitement!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Walking In Circles On Monday Mystery...!

Here's an interesting mystery for ya, and it doesn't involve murder or anything like that! Just an interesting experiment with a strange result.

Why Can’t Humans Walk Straight?

A German research scientist named Jan Souman conducted an experiment that showed that humans are incapable of walking in a straight line. Souman blindfolded his subjects and instructed them “to try to walk straight for up to an hour.” Instead of walking straight, the volunteers walked in circles. The German scientist conducted the experiment in various locations, such as the beach and the Sahara Desert, but the results were the same.

Souman then tried another experiment, and this time there were no blindfolds. The results were different and a bit surprising. If it was cloudy out, the subjects walked in circles. When the weather was good and sunny, only one of the subjects was able to walk relatively straight.

So why does this phenomenon exist? Scientists don’t really have an explanation, and Jan Souman is still working on a multi-causal theory.

I've heard of something like this before, but didn't know that anyone actually studied it. Really strange, if you ask me!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some sweet potato pie I'll share!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

How About Some Sunday 'Toons...?

I know some folks don't like 'em, but I found some really old ones you might enjoy, OK?

And on e more for the road...!

Alright, alright...that's enough for today. Everyone that is celebrating Father's Day can go have some fun now.

Coffee inside this morning. Rain is due back anytime now!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lost In Translation...!

Did you ever wonder how the advertising folks do their selling in foreign countries? It ain't always smooth!

Seems as though some of our phrases sound fine in English, but translate very poorly in some foreign languages. Bad enough to really ruin a good marketing campaign, in fact. Here is a case in point...

Schweppes’s Bathroom Blunder

In modern society, we have come to expect certain things from our drinking water. Most people want their water clean, clear, and in no way associated with human waste. It’s that last part that caused a bit of a problem for Schweppes.

When tonic water manufacturer Schweppes decided to reach out to Italian customers with a shiny new ad campaign, they clearly forgot to consult their pocket dictionaries. As it turns out, it’s pretty easy to mistake the Italian words for “tonic” and “toilet.” So, when Schweppes unveiled their product to Italy’s thirsty masses, they inadvertently offered them all a tall glass of toilet water. Despite getting the thumbs up from millions of the country’s canines, the human residents politely declined. Having thoroughly humiliated themselves, the company cut their losses and moved on to new, more well researched—and significantly less nauseating—campaigns.

I dcan see where a mistake like that could mess up a good ad alright. Guess that some of our brand names just don't translate very well in some languages.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, where it's hot and humid.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is This Really A Good Idea...?

This little picture comes from none other than Baby Sis. She may be right when she says "This must be a government project !"

See what I mean...? Thanks for the picture, Sis !

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Marooned Robert Jeffery For Thursday...!

We don't hear many stories about men being marooned on deserted islands very often, so I thought you would find this story interesting.

Robert Jeffery

Robert Jeffery was a young sailor in the Royal Navy in 1807. While aboard the HMS Recruit, he sneaked an extra drink of beer. The captain, who may have been drunk himself, responded to the offense by marooning the 18-year-old on the next island the ship passed. Jeffery was left on a rocky outcropping with no food or water as the crew begged their captain to reconsider. Jeffery’s story would have ended soon after, had an American ship not rescued him just nine days later. In fact, the “case” of Robert Jeffery was just beginning.

The public was outraged by the Captain’s behavior and court martial followed. In 1810, when the missing Robert Jeffery was found living in Massachusetts working as a blacksmith, another public fervor erupted. Jeffery’s mother was still alive and well in England and the British citizenry demanded they be reunited. A Royal Navy vessel was dispatched and the public waited in suspense for its—and Jeffery’s—return.

When Robert Jeffery finally arrived back in his hometown in England, church bells and waiting crowds greeted him. The press and public watched as mother and son reunited in heartfelt excitement. One last public outcry served to help Robert Jeffery—the captain who had marooned Jeffery three years earlier was found and compelled to pay his former crewman reparations for having nearly killed him.

Ya know, I always heard that drinking could get you in trouble, but I had no idea this was the trouble talked about ! Wonder if that extra glass of beer was worth it !

Coffee out on the patio this morning. It's hot and muggy, but that's typical Houston weather !

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kit Carson For Western Wednesday...!

It's not often we talk about a real life celebrity on Western Wednesday, but I think ol'Kit Carson would qualify.

We haven't talked about Mr. Carson before and I don't know why. Interesting fellow from what I've read. Maybe we should have looked into him long ago, ya reckon ?

Kit Carson

Christopher “Kit” Carson became a folk hero for his depictions in 19th century dime novels and newspapers, but the true story of his career is just as remarkable as the legend. Born in Kentucky in 1809, he fled a saddlemaker’s apprenticeship at age 16 and spent several years working as a fur trapper, teamster and buffalo hunter in the West. Though illiterate and small in stature, Carson was also a natural frontiersman who learned half a dozen native languages and knew the wilderness like the back of his hand. In 1842, his skills caught the attention of explorer John C. Frémont, who enlisted him as a guide for a mission to map the American West. The pair eventually teamed up on three epic excursions across the Rocky Mountains, California and Oregon, and Carson became a frontier celebrity after Frémont praised him in his expedition dispatches. His fame only grew during the Mexican-American War, when he slipped past enemy lines at the Battle of San Pasquale and made a 30-mile barefoot trek to San Diego to fetch reinforcements.

Carson went on to serve as wagon train guide and Indian agent before becoming a Union army officer during the Civil War. He battled Confederates at 1862’s Battle of Valverde in present day New Mexico, but spent the majority of the war leading a series of controversial campaigns to subdue the Navajo and other Southwestern Indian tribes. The former mountain man later died from an aneurysm in 1868, a year after being mustered out of the army as a brigadier general. His last words were supposedly, “Doctor, compadre, adios!”

The man was almost larger than life as they say. It's no wonder that he's almost a legend !

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Shouldn't be any rain until the weekend !

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Rare Political Rant...!

I normally don't say much in the way of politics or religion, but today I'm going to make an exception. Here is a rare political rant taken from Listverse...and spouted by yours truly !

Governing With A Two-Party System

In the medieval ages, kings and queens ruled different parts of Europe. Now we look back at them and realize how wrong they were for letting unelected officials regulate every aspect of their lives.

Today, we have democracy—a gift from the Romans and the Greeks. Yet, despite all our success with it, we still act like children with our two-party system of Republicans and Democrats.

Whether our recent elected presidents are Republican or Democrat, they always do the same thing: Increase debt, decrease liberties, and lie about anything to sound nice.

Einstein said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So why do we continue to elect the same people from the same parties and expect different results—like hoping that the economy will suddenly improve or that the endless wars will suddenly go away?

Doesn’t it stand to reason that we need to elect people who will govern differently if we want a better government? If we continue on this path of division—acting like children who are fighting for team one and team two—how will our government ever improve?

Bottom line, people in the future are going to look at our presidents and system of election and laugh. A lot.

I will say this. Today's political choices for President scare the Hell out of me ! I neither trust them or like them, but what are ya going to do ?

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Disappearing Father For Monday Mysteries...!

Seems as though a missing person report comes mostly from a town or city and is unusual in a rural community.

When a report such as this is made public, it's certainly different than most. That's where the mystery comes in.

The Disappearance Of Leonard Dirickson

Leonard Dirickson was a 39-year-old divorcee who lived with his teenage son Jared at their dairy farm in Strong City, Oklahoma. On the morning of March 14, 1998, Leonard and Jared were eating breakfast when an unidentified man in a pickup truck showed up at their farmhouse. Leonard went to speak with the man for several minutes, and when he came back inside, he told Jared that the stranger was interested in buying one of his horses. Curiously, Leonard had never advertised having horses for sale. Nevertheless, Leonard left with the mysterious stranger in his pickup truck to go show him the horse. This would be the last time Jared ever saw his father.

There was no indication that Leonard ever visited the barn where he kept his horse, but a waitress did report seeing Leonard and the stranger at a nearby coffee shop two hours after he left the farm. The case took a bizarre turn six months later, when police received an anonymous phone call from a man who reported seeing Leonard at a bar in Amarillo, Texas. When police arrived at the bar, the caller was gone, and there was no sign of Leonard.

Before his disappearance, Leonard was experiencing serious financial difficulties because of his divorce and the recent folding of his dairy business, so there was speculation that he might have disappeared voluntarily. However, those close to Leonard don‘t believe he ever would have abandoned his son. Leonard Dirickson has not been seen since his disappearance, and no one knows the identity of the man who visited him that morning.

You have to wonder what would cause a man to just up and leave his home and his son. I'm thinking it would have to be something pretty bad. Certainly one for the mystery list over at Listverse, where I got this story

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain is starting up again !

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Some Bluegrass From...New Jersey ?

Somehow I never thought of New Jersey as a place for Bluegrass music to be popular. Boy, was I ever wrong !

These young men are very much into playing some good ol' Bluegrass...and with a flair ! Give a listen !

Pretty good, wouldn't you say ? Here's some more !

Even though these young men are from New Jersey, they are great ! Now here is another two guys you might recognize from the show "Hee-Haw !" Remember that one ?

Now you have to admit that's a pleasant change from our typical Sunday, right ? Hope you didn't mind too much !

Coffee out on the patio where the temps keep climbing !

Saturday, June 11, 2016

You Want It Rare...?

Here are a few interesting facts about food you may enjoy . Then to, you may not ! Who knows...?

Bloody Meat

The blood you see oozing from a rare or medium steak is not actually blood – by the time meat arrives in a restaurant for cooking most of the blood has been removed. The red stuff you see is actually water and a protein called myoglobin. It is the quantity of myoglobin in meat that determines whether it is white or red – the less myoglobin the lighter the meat. Chemical changes in myoglobin over time are what cause red meat to darken with age – hence an almost black “aged” steak.

Interesting Fact: Crabs have blue blood, worms and leaches have green blood, and starfish have clear or yellow blood. Also, humans do not have blue blood – it is always red (though the darkness level varies). Veins are blue because of the interaction of light on our skin and the depth of the veins. 

I found this article over at Listverse. I hate to admit it, but that steak looks pretty good to me !

Coffee out on the patio again .

Friday, June 10, 2016

Falling Ice For Freaky Friday...!

So what do we call chunks of ice falling from the sky ? Hail, you say...? Not in this case, I think.

First of all, this happened in California and we all know some really weird stuff goes on in California. Second thing is that these ice pieces are just a little bigger than your normal, run-of-the-mill hail !

2014, January 14: Ice Chunks Fall From Cloudless Sky

On January 14, 2014, visitors to Annadel State Park in California, USA, had a scary brush with two chunks of ice that fell out of a clear blue sky.

Ron Schuelke, who had been riding his mountain bike in the park, was resting on a dam near Lake Ilsanjo with another biker, Ryan O'Harren, near a group of four female hikers who were sitting at a pinic table, when everyone heard -- and O'Harren claimed he saw -- an object crash through trees and slam into the ground about 200 feet away from them. Seconds later, a second object slammed down around 100 feet from the group. O'Harren saw that both objects were white in color, and judged that the second was about the size of a volleyball. According to Schuelke, they had sounded "similar to that of a kite being yanked strongly from the sky."

Upon investigation, the group found the objects were chunks of ice with a sort of dirty snow color to them. One had broken into smaller pieces within the dent it left in the ground, but was estimated to have been 18 inches across and 2 to 3 inches deep. The second chunk of ice was 4 to 5 inches long and 2 to 3 inches deep. One of the ice chunks had a distinct hole in it, as shown by a picture the two bikers took. They were quite sure that, given the impact the two ice chunks made, either would have been fatal if they had struck a person.

O'Harren is a pilot with a company called JetBlue, and was aware of the storys about frozen block of toilet water falling from planes... but he quickly pointed out that toilet water is tinted blue by disinfectant, and these two chucks were not. His own theory was that the chucks of ice had fallen from a place on its approach to Oakland International Airport, but that the ice orignated from the plane's sinks and galleys. Greywater from these sources is normally released from a heated pipe on the underside of the plane. The pipe is kept heated to prevent the water from freezing to it as it is released; but if the heating element is not working, the water can form a chuck of ice around the pipe that falls off as the plane descends into warmer air. With this in mind, O'Harren suggested that the hole in the one ice chuck was where it was originally attached to the pipe.

Regardless of where they came from, if a piece that big where to hit a person, I'm thinking it would cause some bodily harm, if you get my drift ! Probably do some damage to the tent as well !

This story came from a site called AnomalyInfo . Check it out, if you want.

Coffee out on the patio again Kinda hot, but it's not raining !

Thursday, June 9, 2016

McCarthy Gets Shut Down...!

The term "Red Scare" should bring back memories of a shameful time in our history.

A man named McCarthy was on a witch hunt and accusing many innocent people of being communists. These false claims cost many people their jobs and reputation. Here's a bit of his story and the man that basically shut him down.

Joseph McCarthy meets his match

In a dramatic confrontation, Joseph Welch, special counsel for the U.S. Army, lashes out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether communism has infiltrated the U.S. armed forces. Welch’s verbal assault marked the end of McCarthy’s power during the anticommunist hysteria of the Red Scare in America.

Senator McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) experienced a meteoric rise to fame and power in the U.S. Senate when he charged in February 1950 that “hundreds” of “known communists” were in the Department of State. In the years that followed, McCarthy became the acknowledged leader of the so-called Red Scare, a time when millions of Americans became convinced that communists had infiltrated every aspect of American life. Behind closed-door hearings, McCarthy bullied, lied, and smeared his way to power, destroying many careers and lives in the process. Prior to 1953, the Republican Party tolerated his antics because his attacks were directed against the Democratic administration of Harry S. Truman. When Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the White House in 1953, however, McCarthy’s recklessness and increasingly erratic behavior became unacceptable and the senator saw his clout slowly ebbing away. In a last-ditch effort to revitalize his anticommunist crusade, McCarthy made a crucial mistake. He charged in early 1954 that the U.S. Army was “soft” on communism. As Chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee, McCarthy opened hearings into the Army.

Joseph N. Welch, a soft-spoken lawyer with an incisive wit and intelligence, represented the Army. During the course of weeks of hearings, Welch blunted every one of McCarthy’s charges. The senator, in turn, became increasingly enraged, bellowing “point of order, point of order,” screaming at witnesses, and declaring that one highly decorated general was a “disgrace” to his uniform. On June 9, 1954, McCarthy again became agitated at Welch’s steady destruction of each of his arguments and witnesses. In response, McCarthy charged that Frederick G. Fisher, a young associate in Welch’s law firm, had been a long-time member of an organization that was a “legal arm of the Communist Party.” Welch was stunned. As he struggled to maintain his composure, he looked at McCarthy and declared, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” It was then McCarthy’s turn to be stunned into silence, as Welch asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” The audience of citizens and newspaper and television reporters burst into wild applause. Just a week later, the hearings into the Army came to a close. McCarthy, exposed as a reckless bully, was officially condemned by the U.S. Senate for contempt against his colleagues in December 1954. During the next two-and-a-half years McCarthy spiraled into alcoholism. Still in office, he died in 1957.

It's a sad commentary on our country's political system when we can elect a man so filled with hate and bigotry to such a powerful position. How do people allow such a person to run amok, making false and career ending lies as the truth ! In cases like this, we realize just how much power and influence one man can have...sometimes with disastrous results.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Apache Chief Cochise For Western Wednesday...!

Nearly everyone I know recognizes the name Cochise. It's rather a hard name to forget.

Interesting back story about the Chief and I figured I'd share it with you.

Apache Chief Cochise dies

Chief Cochise, one of the great leaders of the Apache Indians in their battles with the Anglo-Americans, dies on the Chiricahua reservation in southeastern Arizona.

Little is known of Cochise’s early life. By the mid-19th century, he had become a prominent leader of the Chiricahua band of Apache Indians living in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Like many other Chiricahua Apache, Cochise resented the encroachment of Mexican and American settlers on their traditional lands. Cochise led numerous raids on the settlers living on both sides of the border, and Mexicans and Americans alike began to call for military protection and retribution.

War between the U.S. and Cochise, however, resulted from a misunderstanding. In October 1860, a band of Apache attacked the ranch of an Irish-American named John Ward and kidnapped his adopted son, Felix Tellez. Although Ward had been away at the time of the raid, he believed that Cochise had been the leader of the raiding Apache. Ward demanded that the U.S. Army rescue the kidnapped boy and bring Cochise to justice. The military obliged by dispatching a force under the command of Lieutenant George Bascom. Unaware that they were in any danger, Cochise and many of his top men responded to Bascom’s invitation to join him for a night of entertainment at a nearby stage station. When the Apache arrived, Bascom’s soldiers arrested them.

Cochise told Bascom that he had not been responsible for the kidnapping of Felix Tellez, but the lieutenant refused to believe him. He ordered Cochise be kept as a hostage until the boy was returned. Cochise would not tolerate being imprisoned unjustly. He used his knife to cut a hole in the tent he was held in and escaped.

During the next decade, Cochise and his warriors increased their raids on American settlements and fought occasional skirmishes with soldiers. Panicked settlers abandoned their homes, and the Apache raids took hundreds of lives and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damages. By 1872, the U.S. was anxious for peace, and the government offered Cochise and his people a huge reservation in the southeastern corner of Arizona Territory if they would cease hostilities. Cochise agreed, saying, “The white man and the Indian are to drink of the same water, eat of the same bread, and be at peace.”

The great chief did not have the privilege of enjoying his hard-won peace for long. In 1874, he became seriously ill, possibly with stomach cancer. He died on this day in 1874. That night his warriors painted his body yellow, black, and vermilion, and took him deep into the Dragoon Mountains. They lowered his body and weapons into a rocky crevice, the exact location of which remains unknown. Today, however, that section of the Dragoon Mountains is known as Cochise’s Stronghold.

About a decade after Cochise died, Felix Tellez–the boy whose kidnapping had started the war–resurfaced as an Apache-speaking scout for the U.S. Army. He reported that a group of Western Apache, not Cochise, had kidnapped him.

Even back in those days folks were quick to put the blame on someone innocent. More than once, this came back to bite them in the butt!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No rain they say.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Taking On The Traits Of Donors...!

Sometimes the organs trhat are from donors are all that saves a persons lives.

There seems to be a few times when more than just organs are given. Sometimes the recipients take on some of the cravings and habits of the donors.

Jamie Sherman Awakes From Transplant Feeling Rage And Anger

Tucson, Arizona

Jamie Sherman had underwent several heart surgeries by the time she had a heart transplant at the age of 24. She’d suffered from a heart defect since birth. When she awoke following the successful procedure, she felt a deep sense of anger, so much so that she wanted to fight, although she didn’t know why. She also began to have cravings for Mexican food, especially cheese enchiladas, something that she hadn’t craved before.

Six months following the transplant, Jamie was able to meet the family of her donor, a 29-year-old man named Scott Phillips. She quickly mentioned her cravings and liking for Mexican foods, and she wasn’t too surprised to hear that Scott’s favorite food was Mexican, and he particularly liked cheese enchiladas.

When Jamie found out that Scott had died in a fight at a sports bar after being hit in the head and suffering major brain trauma, she felt that she now understood where her sudden feelings of anger came from. She theorized that he felt anger and rage in the seconds before he was hit and consequently died, and these feelings were locked in his heart when it was transplanted to her.

I would hate to think that my last emotions, like hate or rage, would be handed over to another person to have to deal with. Pretty sad to think about, if it really happens !

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Gonna be another hot one today !

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mysterious Holes In Siberia...!

There are some very strange, large holes starting to show up in certain areas in Russia. Where did they originate ?

These holes are large, so whatever caused them was very large as well. As of this article from Listverse points out, there is no proof about what caused them and how they were made.

Mysterious Holes In The Forests Of Siberia

Although many Internet sites have recently reported on mysteriously appearing holes in Russia, there are three particular holes in northern Siberia that are particularly interesting.

The theories to explain them include aliens or beings from the inner Earth, a meteorite strike, a simple prank, or a buildup of natural gas that exploded. The natural gas theory seemed to make some sense based on eyewitness and investigative reports.

People have seen strange flashes and smoke rising from the locations of the holes. Investigators also noted that earth and debris lay around the outside of the holes as if something had pushed this material out from below.

The holes themselves are like cone-shaped tunnels that go straight down approximately 100 meters (330 ft). This is confusing to investigators. One researcher said, “It is not like this is the work of men, but [it] also doesn’t look like natural formation.”

There is also disagreement on when these holes appeared. Some reports state that they formed around 2013. Others point to vegetation that has grown within the holes to suggest that they are at least several years older than that.

The investigations continue—as do the rumors about what caused these holes. Global warming is one of the latest theories.

Are we really sure we want to know the answer ? Do we really need to find out the origin of these strange holes in the ground ? I can't help but wonder !

Coffee out on the damp patio this morning !

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Cartoons Once Again...!

I know we haven't had any 'toons in a while, so here are some to make up for that...OK ?


And just one more...

OK...I reckon we are caught up for a while. Back to the business at hand.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

What's Up With The Cows...?

Now this is interesting if you are into obscure little facts .

How in the world folks get paid for doing these studies is beyond me, but it makes for some interesting reading, that's for sure !

Cows Always Face North Or South While Eating

Most people don’t give much thought to grazing cows, but when a team of scientists went through thousands of Google Earth’s satellite images of cows, they stumbled upon a detail that we have missed for millennia: Cows will stand along the Earth’s magnetic poles—facing north and south—whenever they’re grazing or resting. The pattern remained consistent regardless of wind or other factors, and nobody’s quite sure why.

While some animals are known to contain an internal compass, this is the first time it’s been found in a large mammal. Another weird thing is that the nearer they are to the poles, the less accurate they get with the orientation. Scientists don’t know if the phenomenon is related to navigation or some miscalculated attempt at warding off predators, though it appears that it may have a purpose because of the consistency with which it was observed among cows across six continents. The phenomenon may have an effect on agricultural production, as cows made to stay in an east-west orientation must be affected in some way, though nobody can say how.

Now I have to admit that I find this stuff interesting, but in the long run...I really don't care! Makes no difference to me at all which direction the cows are facing as they eat, ya know ? However, when I found this article on Listverse, I thought it was worth sharing with you folks.

Coffee out on the patio, I think. We may have to move back inside quickly, so be ready!

Friday, June 3, 2016

No Post...!

Thanks to the tons of rain and lightening...power is coming and going. Therefore I won't be doing a post. Sorry, but I have no control over Mother Nature. Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow !

Coffee still in the kitchen, if you can swim !

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Flour With A BANG...!

You know, it's really amazing what people can come up with when they put their minds to it. Man can be very creative at times.

Sadly, it's in wartime that a number of very handy inventions seem to show up. When it comes to finding a way to blow up the enemy, our minds can go into overdrive!

Explosives Disguised As Flour That Could Be Eaten

With the OSS aiming to disrupt Japanese operations in Southeast Asia, they turned to chemist George Bogdan Kistiakowsky. He created the perfect explosive that could be disguised as, of all things, flour—and it could be used to bake as well.

The “Aunt Jemima” mixture of three parts explosive and one part flour could be sneaked past Japanese soldiers without suspicion. If they did get suspicious, a realistic looking and tasting loaf of bread could be made and eaten to prove to the Japanese that the flour was “just flour".

Although the flour could be ingested, the original mixture would have made people very ill. This was amply demonstrated in an incident when a Chinese cook disobeyed orders and ate a muffin, becoming so ill that he nearly died.

Ultimately, a second version of “Aunt Jemima” was developed that was far less toxic than the first variant and could be consumed safely in quantity. In the end, more than 15 tons of the stuff was smuggled into Japanese-controlled areas with the Japanese none the wiser.

I don't care if the original recipe was toned down, I wouldn't volunteer to eat any of those muffins...would you ?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. The rain is back with a vengeance !

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Destroying Angel For Western Wednesday...!

There comes a time that some of the most feared folks in our history were religious people. That's pretty scary !

This next gentleman was one of those people that even looks the part for his nickname! I know that I wouldn't want to meet him on a dark night, for sure !

Orrin Porter Rockwell

They called him the “Destroying Angel” and said he murdered 100 men. His real name was Orrin Porter Rockwell, and while the body count was probably lower, the man definitely knew how to fill a few graves. Born in Massachusetts, Rockwell wound up in Missouri where he became one of the first Mormon converts and founder Joseph Smith’s personal bodyguard. Rockwell was what you might call a “prayer warrior,” and when Gov. Lilburn Boggs ordered all Mormons out of Missouri, Rockwell allegedly tried to show him the light—the one at the end of the tunnel.

Rockwell was jailed for his attempted “evangelism” but was released after a year behind bars. As soon as his boots stepped on free soil, he hightailed it to Nauvoo, Illinois, where things took a Biblical turn. Like a scene ripped out of the Old Testament, Joseph Smith gave Rockwell a special blessing, claiming no one could harm the gunman so long as he never cut his hair. Just like Samson, this Latter-day Saint disobeyed his boss—but only once, supposedly to fashion his fur into a wig for a woman who’d lost her hair.

While Rockwell had a soft side, he wasn’t afraid to kill in the name of the Lord. After Smith’s arrest and assassination in 1844, Rockwell took revenge on Frank Worrell, the militiaman who was supposed to guard the prophet. And when Brigham Young moved the church to Salt Lake City, Rockwell was appointed the town’s marshal.

In 1857, President James Buchannan tried to forcibly replace Young as Utah’s governor with a non-Mormon. Infuriated, American Moses ordered Rockwell to torment incoming troops. Rockwell killed two men who were trying to supply them. Strangely, it took 20 years for anyone to charge the gunman, but by then, it didn’t matter. The Destroying Angel died an old man in his bed .

It's amazing to me that back then, jut like today, we have folks that are willing to kill in the name of religion. That sure wasn't the way I was brought up. Seems to me that some folks are way too willing to kill, given the right reason ! I wonder why that is ?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Keep an eye out for rain clouds, OK ?