Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Launching Of The Lone Ranger...!

I'll bet most of us as kids either listened to the Lone Ranger on the radio, or watched it on television.

Well, here is the story of how the Lone Ranger came to be. Makes for an interesting read, if you don't already have knowledge of how it all started.

The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit radio

With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!” The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit’s WXYZ radio station.

The creation of station-owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the “masked rider of the plains” became one of the most popular and enduring western heroes of the 20th century. Joined by his trusty steed, Silver, and loyal Indian scout, Tonto, the Lone Ranger sallied forth to do battle with evil western outlaws and Indians, generally arriving on the scene just in time to save an innocent golden-haired child or sun-bonneted farm wife.

Neither Trendle nor Striker had any connections to or experience with the cowboys, Indians, and pioneers of the real West, but that mattered little to them. The men simply wanted to create an American version of the masked swashbuckler made popular by the silent movie actor Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro, arming their hero with a revolver rather than a sword. Historical authenticity was far less important to the men than fidelity to the strict code of conduct they established for their character. The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol; he used grammatically correct speech free of slang; and, most important, he never shot to kill. More offensive to modern historical and ethnic sensibilities was the Indian scout Tonto, who spoke in a comical Indian patois totally unrelated to any authentic Indian dialect, uttering ludicrous phrases like “You betchum!”

Historical accuracy notwithstanding, the radio program was an instant hit. Children liked the steady stream of action and parents approved of the good moral example offered by the upstanding masked man. Soon picked up for nationwide broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network, over 20 million Americans were tuning into The Lone Ranger three times a week by 1939. In an early example of the power of marketing tie-ins, the producers also licensed the manufacture of a vast array of related products, including Lone Ranger guns, costumes, books, and a popular comic strip.

The Lone Ranger made a seemingly effortless transition from radio to motion pictures and television. The televised version of The Lone Ranger, staring Clayton Moore as the masked man, became ABC’s first big hit in the early 1950s. Remaining on the air until 1957, the program helped define the golden age of the TV Western and inspired dozens of imitators like The Range Rider, The Roy Rogers Show, and The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Although the Lone Ranger disappeared from American television and movie screens by the 1960s, he lived on in a popular series of comic books well into the 1970s.

I used to really enjoy the show as a kid. At least back then we had some heroes to look up to, know what I mean?

Coffee out on the sorry looking patio this morning. Gotta get some new plants in the Spring, for sure.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Illness Detectors...!

Those of us that own cats know that they seem to sense when something is wrong, or we don't feel well.

This article from Listverse even tells of an animal that seems able to predict death. That's a scary talent if you ask me.


Cat owners have been reporting that their pets have healing powers for ages. While cats do not have the ability to cure sickness, they are definitely capable of detecting it.

Diseases cause chemical changes in the body, and cats use their acute sense of smell to identify whether someone is sick or not. Our feline friends gather more information by sensing changes in our mood and behavior. They can also detect illness in other animals.

One cat has even “predicted” 25 deaths in a nursing home. Although unfriendly by nature, Oscar the cat displayed sudden affection toward multiple residents who were close to death.

Experts hypothesize that the cat can smell and sense organs shutting down. Do not hurry to schedule a doctor’s appointment if your cat suddenly sits in your lap, though. Even the most independent and egoistic beings want affection occasionally.

I have noticed my cats seem to pay more attention to me when I'm not feeling well. Then again, guess it could be because their feeding schedule is a little off at that time. Yeah, that's more likely.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Sunshine is available for those in need.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Orleans Axeman...!

Once in a while a single person can cause panic of whole neighborhoods.

From Listverse comes this article about an axe murderer in New Orleans that did just that. Here is his story.

The Axeman of New Orleans

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

From May 1918 to October 1919, this still-unidentified serial killer terrorized New Orleans and surrounding areas of Louisiana. His victims were poor, Italian-American women in their homes whom he attacked after removing a panel from their backdoors. The Axeman was infamous for using his victims’ own weapons, such as a nearby straight razor or axe, to slash or bludgeon them, leaving many to bleed out. This killer is most famous for vowing in a letter to local newspapers that he would kill someone on March 19, 1919 – albeit only if that person were not listening to jazz. With every dancehall and house full of people dancing to jazz, no one died, and the Axeman’s reign came to a sudden and mysterious end.

I can only imagine the state of panic these folks must have been in. I'm glad that he stopped the terror and I reckon they were, too!

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

People In The Post...!

Yesterday we did a post about cats in the post. Let's take that thought a step further, shall we?


Photo credit:

We have seen people sent through the mail for political reasons and to escape a horrific life, but there have been more prosaic reasons to send human letters. The Parcel Post Service revolutionized package delivery when it began in the US in 1913. Prior to this, people had to carry their packages to large towns to send.

Now every post office would deal with your parcel as long as it weighed less than 5 kilograms (11 lb). That same year, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge in Ohio posted their 5-kilogram (10 lb) baby to his grandmother’s house at a cost of 15 cents. They even insured the kid for $50.

When this weight limit was changed to 23 kilograms (50 lb), two parents had a cunning idea. May Pierstorff’s parents wanted to send her to visit her grandmother but thought the cost of a train ticket was far too high. They attached the correct number of stamps to May’s coat, and the 22-kilogram (48.5 lb), five-year-old child was shipped in the mail carriage of a train to her grandmother.

In 1914, the postmaster general put a stop to using the postal service to send people.

I think that none of us today would even consider sending our child in the mail. I figure instead we would at least use UPS or FedEx.

Coffee out on the slightly chilly patio this morning!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Postal Kitty...!

I, like many others, have a few complaints about our postal service. However, I don't think I would go so far as some folks did in this article From Listverse. This move just proves my point about truly disturbed people with way too much time on their hands and the troubling things they can come up with.

A Cat

Photo credit: The Atlantic

When we think of mail services, most people imagine their carriers walking between houses to drop off letters. In New York, a more impressive system was developed in the 1890s. A series of tubes allowed mail to be shot across the city using pneumatic pressure.

The first items sent were various papers and a copy of the Bible. But the operators were not content with these pedestrian items. The next canister sent through the tubes contained a live tortoiseshell cat. A postal worker recorded the event:
How it could live after being shot at terrific speed from Station P in the Produce Exchange Building, making several turns before reaching Broadway and Park Row, I cannot conceive, but it did. It seemed to be dazed for a minute or two but started to run and was quickly secured and placed in a basket that had been provided for that purpose.

When other branches to the pneumatic system were opened, a canister holding a goldfish bowl and live fish was sent through. Apparently, the fish arrived unshaken by their travels.

I can only imagine the nightmare that would occur if a system such as this were in place in this day and age.Scary, isn't it?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain is coming in later.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Unsolved Mysteries For Freaky Friday...!

Instead of posting just one freaky story today, let's try instead having a video of multiple mysteries, all the courtesy of YouTube and Listverse. Sound good?

There ya go. Much better than reading it, don't you think?

Coffee out on the patio this morning!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Little Riddles For Thursday...!

Once before, we had a post with some riddles and answers. What say we do that again?

That's enough for today. Don't want to mess up your heads too much before coffee, ya know?

Speaking of coffee, let's have it out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bat Masterson On Western Wednesday...!

Ever wonder just when gunfighters got started? Some of them just sort of fell into the lifestyle.

Take Bat Masterson, for instance. He started out as a buffalo hunter, and ended his days quite differently. Here is a bit of his history.

Bat Masterson’s last shootout

On the streets of Dodge City, famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life.

Bartholomew “Bat” Masterson had made a living with his gun from a young age. In his early 20s, Masterson worked as a buffalo hunter, operating out of the wild Kansas cattle town of Dodge City. For several years, he also found employment as an army scout in the Plains Indian Wars. Masterson had his first shootout in 1876 in the town of Sweetwater (later Mobeetie), Texas. When an argument with a soldier over the affections of a dance hall girl named Molly Brennan heated up, Masterson and his opponent resorted to their pistols. When the shooting stopped, both Brennan and the soldier were dead, and Masterson was badly wounded.

Found to have been acting in self-defense, Masterson avoided prison. Once he had recovered from his wounds, he apparently decided to abandon his rough ways and become an officer of the law. For the next five years, Masterson alternated between work as Dodge City sheriff and running saloons and gambling houses, gaining a reputation as a tough and reliable lawman. However, Masterson’s critics claimed that he spent too much as sheriff, and he lost a bid for reelection in 1879.

For several years, Masterson drifted around the West. Early in 1881, news that his younger brother, Jim, was in trouble back in Dodge City reached Masterson in Tombstone, Arizona. Jim’s dispute with a business partner and an employee, A.J. Peacock and Al Updegraff respectively, had led to an exchange of gunfire. Though no one had yet been hurt, Jim feared for his life. Masterson immediately took a train to Dodge City.

When his train pulled into Dodge City on this morning in 1881, Masterson wasted no time. He quickly spotted Peacock and Updegraff and aggressively shouldered his way through the crowded street to confront them. “I have come over a thousand miles to settle this,” Masterson reportedly shouted. “I know you are heeled [armed]-now fight!” All three men immediately drew their guns. Masterson took cover behind the railway bed, while Peacock and Updegraff darted around the corner of the city jail. Several other men joined in the gunplay. One bullet meant for Masterson ricocheted and wounded a bystander. Updegraff took a bullet in his right lung.

The mayor and sheriff arrived with shotguns to stop the battle when a brief lull settled over the scene. Updegraff and the wounded bystander were taken to the doctor and both eventually recovered. In fact, no one was mortally injured in the melee, and since the shootout had been fought fairly by the Dodge City standards of the day, no serious charges were imposed against Masterson. He paid an $8 fine and took the train out of Dodge City that evening.

Masterson never again fought a gun battle in his life, but the story of the Dodge City shootout and his other exploits ensured Masterson’s lasting fame as an icon of the Old West. He spent the next four decades of his life working as sheriff, operating saloons, and eventually trying his hand as a newspaperman in New York City. The old gunfighter finally died of a heart attack in October 1921 at his desk in New York City.

I reckon everyone's reputation catches up to them sooner or later, be it good or bad. Didn't seem to hurt Bat any, though.

Coffee out the patio again. The sun was nice this morning, for sure!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mysterious Stairway Story...!

When you want a bit of "feel good" news, turn to this story of the mystery stairway from Listverse.

The Miracle Of Loretto Chapel

These days, religious miracles seem to be in terribly short supply. A pall has even been cast over such seemingly infallible characters as Mother Teresa. But New Mexico’s Loretto Chapel, built in 1878, might just give credence to idea that saints walk among us.

During the building of the chapel, the architect was shot to death, and when the project was completed, the building was missing one key feature: a way to get to the choir loft, which was 6.7 meters (22 ft) above the ground. There was no room for a conventional staircase, and the nuns were averse to using ladders because they were afraid of snagging their long habits. The legend goes that the sisters of Loretto prayed for nine days, and on the final day, a bedraggled man arrived on a donkey and asked permission to solve their problem.

Using only the most basic of tools (not even nails), he created a glorious winding helix staircase over the course of a few months. At first glance, the structure seems to defy the laws of physics, as it appears to have no central means of support. Upon finishing, the unidentified carpenter simply went on his way without being paid. The nuns, taken by the majesty of his creation, believed that the man was none other than St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters. Other theories have been advanced, probably the most plausible being that the man was an itinerant French carpenter named Francois-Jean Rochas.

The staircase itself has since been thoroughly examined, and while beautiful, it is not exactly a marvel. The helix is so tight that the center portion acts as its own support, keeping it from toppling over. It has also been judged as very unsafe, acting as a spring when people climb on it. Today, the Loretto Chapel is privately owned, and frequently stages weddings where couples are allowed to pose on the staircase.

Who ever the carpenter was that built the stairway, he did a beautiful job. The mystery may be in wondering how it was done with the tools available at that time. Pretty amazing for sure!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. In the 60s, but the sun is shining!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mother Nature Strikes Again...!

Just when we think that we have Her figured out a bit, Mother Nature throws us one more curve ball from Her arsenal.

This story , taken from Listverse, is about one of the most interesting puzzles presented to us by nature in quite a while. See if you don't agree.

Purple Slime In Lyngen Fjord

Photo credit: Roger B. Larsen/UIT

In August 2015, fishermen fishing off the coast of Northern Norway began reporting a strange phenomenon in the area. A thick, purple, mucoid slime had appeared almost overnight, covering millions of cubic meters around the Lyngen Fjord.

[2]Experts who investigated the phenomenon likened the texture of the slime to that of margarine and initially believed it to be the remains of dead jellyfish. The slime covered the fish that the fishermen were catching and even messed with their sonar equipment. A fisheries expert said that he had never seen anything like the purple substance in the fjords.

However, now almost three years later, no real confirmation has been given that the slime did indeed come from a type of jellyfish. Therefore, the reason for its existence remains a mystery.

One thing about Nature's mysteries...they can be quite colorful.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. That's a good thing, right?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

More Sunday 'Toons...!

Once again we travel back to the olden days for some older 'toons from long ago.

And maybe one more...

That's all I had this morning. Enjoy the rest of the day.

Coffee out on the patio again this morning!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mister Potato Head Gets His Start...!

No matter what the event, someone has to be first, right?

Well, as it turns out, Mister Potato Head was the first ever toy commercial on national television. Guess we have Hasbro toys to thank for all our future ads on the tele.

How Mr. Potato Head Changed the Advertising Business

A story of goofy vegetables and the power of television.

IN THE 1950S, BOTH TELEVISION and toys were striking out in bold new directions. Television commercials were rapidly becoming the leading form of advertising, assuming dominance over radio. At the same time, a number of soon-to-be classic toys were making their way to market, including the frisbee, Barbie dolls, and the era-defining hula hoop. But in 1952, before all of those, Hasbro’s Mr. Potato Head hit store shelves.

Timing played a big role in the fact that in April of 1952, an ad for an anthropomorphized tuber became the first ever televised toy commercial. As a 2012 BBC article explains, up to that point toy ads had appealed to parents, since they were the ones doing the buying. But the Mr. Potato Head TV ad was aimed directly at children. It was a revolutionary advertisement, even if the concept of marketing directly to kids didn’t immediately catch on.

That original commercial is not online, but the video above, a mid-1950s Mr. Potato Head commercial available on YouTube, provides a pretty good idea of what that first commercial looked like: young kids showing their excitement for the toy. (Here is where I should also note that the original Mr. Potato Head package included 28 facial features that kids could practice with on a styrofoam head, but were meant to be stuck in an actual potato).

According to the 2003 book Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping, it wasn’t until three years later, when toy commercials began accompanying the wildly popular Mickey Mouse Club program, that toy advertisements meant to be viewed by children really took off. Of course this was just the beginning of a long-running debate about whether anyone should be advertising to children in the first place. But for better or worse, Mr. Potato Head was the first. Pretty impressive for a vegetable.

I used to have a Mr. Potato Head when I was a kid. Played with it quite a bit if I remember correctly.

Coffee out on the patio this morning for a change.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Kiss Of Death On Freaky Friday...!

Of all the things in this world you might think would cause you harm, a simple kiss would probably fall low on the list of dangerous activities.

Here is a case from Listverse that proves that all kisses are certainly not created equal.

Myriam Ducre-Lemay

Photo credit: The Independent

In October 2012, 20-year-old Myriam Ducre-Lemay attended a party in Montreal with her new boyfriend before heading back to his place for the night. The two shared a kiss as they were getting into bed, only for Myriam to suddenly experience a lot of trouble breathing. It turned out that Myriam’s new boyfriend had eaten a peanut butter sandwich before brushing his teeth. He was unaware that she had a severe peanut allergy.

With only a broken inhaler and no EpiPen with her, Myriam was immediately taken to the hospital by ambulance. Though the ambulance arrived only eight minutes after being called, Myriam died as a result of oxygen deprivation to the brain. Myriam’s mother has used her tragic death as an opportunity to call for those with allergies to wear a Medic Alert bracelet and carry an EpiPen at all times.

It only makes sense to me that anyone having an allergy that could threaten their life would wear a medical alert bracelet, or at the very least tell their partner about such a condition...just in case. Communication could save your life sometimes.

Coffee inside at least one more day...OK?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

More Maritime Mysteries...!

I thought you might enjoy these ghost ship mysteries. Just a little different, ya know?

Coffee inside again. Way too cold outside .

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cowboy Film For Western Wednesday...!

Here is a new way to look at western Wednesday. Something a bit different.

Hope you enjoyed the trip to the movies for today. Maybe they weren't the best, but I've seen worse.

Coffee inside again, because we have snow on the ground here again!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

No Post Today...!

I'm taking the day off...sorry. I should have said something sooner, I reckon.

See you tomorrow, I hope.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Gurning Man For Monday Mystery...!

Sometimes human nature is a mystery all unto itself. Certain people just act differently...enough so that it can be bothersome to others.

Folks acting strangely, especially to the point of being scary to others, should at some point be addressed by those in authority.

The Gurning Man

Photo credit:

In the 1970s, several women in Glasgow, Scotland, reported a strange and terrifying phenomenon. A man who appeared to be in his fifties had started harassing them in a weird way.

One woman reported seeing the man sitting at the end of her bed when she woke up around midnight one evening. The man, later dubbed the “Gurning Man,” grinned at her while rubbing his hands up and down his chest. Yelling for her husband to wake up, the woman was astonished to find the man had disappeared without a trace.

Two teen girls also had a run-in with the Gurning Man one night as they were walking home. They both reported seeing an extremely skinny, bald man dressed in what looked like a leotard standing underneath a streetlight. As the girls passed him, he gave them a weird grin but didn’t speak. When they looked back, he was gone.

Seventeen complaints were filed between 1976 and 1979, six of which stated that the Gurning Man was inside the complainant’s home. Most of the reports also stated that the man seemed to be extremely agitated. To this day, no one knows who he was or why he behaved so strangely.

I found this story over on Listverse, so you can check for more info over there if you want.

Coffee inside once again this morning.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday 'Toons Again...!

Most of the time we have cartoons for Sunday, just because we don't have the funny papers to read. Our way of making do, I reckon.

And maybe one more...

OK...that's enough for today. Let's go do something interesting today.

Coffee in the kitchen again today!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Jericho Rose...!

Just a short post today to introduce you to the Rose Of Jericho plant, just in case you haven't seen it before. It is a very cool and nearly impossible-to-kill plant just made for an old guy like me.

That's all I had this morning. Just wanted to show you this plant. I need to get a few of these, I think!

Coffee in the kitchen again today. Making gingerbread a little later.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Seen One Of These Lately...?

Sometimes there are stories and fables passed down for years and years about things that it might be better to avoid, know what I mean?

What Is A Pukwudgie?
 If You See One It’s Best To Stay Away

Even before Europeans arrived in the New World, the stories of pukwudgies were already old. The Wampanoag, Mohican, and Algonquin Indians believed pukwudgies had once lived in harmony with humans but had turned against them. They lived in the wild woods and marshes of the Eastern Seaboard, and, according to the legends, it was best to leave the Pukwudgies quietly in peace.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha refers to the “mischievous Puk-Wudgies.” The Indian word means “person of the wilderness.” A human who annoyed a pukwudgie might just be the victim of some unpleasant trickery, but they might also be pushed from a cliff, shot with arrows, or have their children stolen. Pukwudgies could create fire, luring people into deep woods to their doom. Like leprechauns, the legendary little people of Ireland, pukwudgies were capricious.

How dangerous they were varied from region to region. Legends of the pukwudgies (sometimes called bagwajinini) stretched from Canada to southern New England and west to the Great Lakes. In some places they were benign, even helpful to humans. In others they were mischievous, but harmless. And in other regions they were murderous.

They ranged in size too, from three feet to knee-height. They could disappear at will and in some places could transform into dangerous animals like cougars.

Pukwudgies are often tied to specific locations, even today. Many reported sightings come from the woods of Massachusetts. In fact, the police in Freetown, Massachusetts have put up a Pukwudgie Crossing sign near the Freetown State Forest.

Freetown is a state park located in Fall River, Freetown, and Lakeville, Massachusetts. Of course, Fall River is infamous as the home of Lizzie Borden. Pukwudgies are also rumored to live near the haunted Moundsville State Penitentiary in Indiana, and Round Rock in Texas, home to Bigfoot. Whether pukwudgies are a sign of further paranormal activity or simply seen by those who would like to believe is unclear, but their status as one of the oldest mythical creatures in North America is uncontested.

I will be the first to say tht I've have never seen one, or even heard of them before this article. I'm pretty sure I don't want to, either!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Rain and cold are moving back in.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Friend In The Closet...!

Many children (and a few adults) have imaginary friends in their lives, but most outgrow these imaginary friends over time.

Even though the invisible friends more or less fade away, that doesn't stop a few of them from being pretty creepy. Here is a story about a young girl that had an invisible friend named Jonathon.

The Boy In The Closet

When three-year-old Rebecca started talking about her new friend called Jonathon, her parents didn’t take much notice. Even when she became obsessed with her closet and told her parents that Jonathon was in there, they didn’t think anything of it. After all, many toddlers have imaginary friends, and Rebecca would soon grow out of the notion of it.

Then, Rebecca’s mom fell pregnant again, and the family opted to move to a bigger place that would accommodate their new baby. Rebecca moved on from her imaginary friend, and her parents soon forgot about it completely. Four months later, the new owners of the family’s old home contacted Rebecca’s father. They had found a trapdoor in the back of Rebecca’s closet, and below the trapdoor, there was a hole with a box in it.

The box contained baby pictures and baby clothes. On the box was written: “Jonathon’s.”

I got this story from Listverse where they have plenty more stories of imaginary friends that are fairly creepy in their own right. Take a look, if you want.

Coffee out on the patio this morning.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Deadly Blizzard Of 1887...!

If we think that the weather has been hard on us this season, just imagine what the folks went through back in 1887.

The cattle industry was hit especially hard during the Winter of that year, mainly due to a massive miscalculation by ranchers at that time. Here is a short history of the disaster of the winter of 1887.

Record cold and snow decimates cattle herds

On one of the worst days of the “worst winter in the West,” nearly an inch of snow falls every hour for 16 hours, impeding the ability of already starving cattle to find food.

The plains ranchers had seen hard winters before, but they had survived because their cattle had been well fed going into the winter. By the mid-1880s, though, the situation had changed. In the hopes of making quick money, greedy speculators had overstocked the northern ranges in Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. Deceived by a string of mild winters, many ranch managers were also no longer putting up any winter-feed for their stock. Disaster arrived in 1886.

The summer of 1886 was hot and dry, and by autumn, the range was almost barren of grass. The cold and snow came early, and by January, record-breaking snowfalls blanketed the plains, forcing the already weakened cattle to expend vital energy moving through the snow in search of scant forage. In January, a warm Chinook wind briefly melted the top layers of snow. When the brutal cold returned (some ranches recorded temperatures of 63 degrees below zero), a hard thick shell of ice formed over everything, making it almost impossible for the cattle to break through the snow to reach the meager grass below. With no winter hay stored to feed the animals, many ranchers had to sit by idly and watch their herds slowly die. “Starving cattle staggered through village streets,” one historian recalls, “and collapsed and died in dooryards.” In Montana, 5,000 head of cattle invaded the outskirts of Great Falls, eating the saplings the townspeople had planted that spring and “bawling for food.”

When the snow melted in the spring, carcasses of the once massive herds dotted the land as far as the eye could see. One observer recalled that so many rotting carcasses clogged creek and river courses that it was hard to find water fit to drink. Millions of cattle are estimated to have died during the “Great Die Up” as it came to be called, a darkly humorous reference to the celebrated “Round Up.” Montana ranchers alone lost an estimated 362,000 head of cattle, more than half the territory’s herd.

Besides sending hundreds of ranches into bankruptcy, the hard winter also brought an abrupt end to the era of the open range. Realizing they would always have to grow crops to feed their animals, ranchers decreased the size of their herds and began to stretch barbed wire fences across the open range to enclose new hay fields. By the 1890s, the typical rancher was also a farmer, and cowboys spent more time fixing fences than riding herd or roping mavericks. Belatedly, settlers realized that they had to adapt to the often-harsh demands of life on the western plains if they were to survive and thrive.

Many lessons from the Old West were learned the hard way. This hard Winter helped to change the face of the cattle business and the cowboys that rode herd on them. It could be called the beginning of the end for things done the old way in the West.

Coffee out on the patio again today.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Swarm Of Death...!

Fewer things hurt more to me than being stung by a wasp or bee. I can only imagine what kind of pain this man must have gone through. Not something I want to experience, that's for sure.

An Unforgiving Swarm

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, Rogerio Zuniga was on his tractor tending to his farm in Lorenzo, Texas, when the third-generation farmer hit an abandoned irrigation pipe. Unbeknownst to Zuniga, the 18-inch (45 cm) diameter piping housed an enormous hive of Africanized bees. As the enraged insects emerged from the darkness, a frightened Zuniga jumped off the tractor and ran 100 yards (91 m) before being overcome by the lethal swarm. When Zuniga’s family noticed that the tractor was abandoned, they searched the field only to discover the farmer’s lifeless, tattered body completely smothered in bees.

According to Zuniga’s sister Lisa, “He had gaping wounds, the bees shredded him basically. It was horrible.” Upon further investigation, the fire department discovered 15-20 feet (4.5-6 m) of honeycomb inside the pipe causing the county to get involved. As crews broke through the concrete piping, they became swarmed by the extremely aggressive insects with some even sustaining stings through their hefty veil. After four hours of cleaning out the irrigation pipe, the fire department noticed that the bees were relocating to another massive honeycomb located on the property where the victim’s mother resided.

What a horrible way to die. Sounds like something out of a horror movie!

Coffee out on the patio again. Hope this good weather holds up.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Ancient Stone Balls For Monday Mystery...!

Here is yet another mystery that Mother Nature is keeping mum about. Who made them, how were they made, and why were they made?

Prehistoric Stone Balls

Photo credit:

Hundreds of these large stone spheres are scattered across the Costa Rican jungle and are thought to have been constructed by prehistoric humans. For years, they have baffled scientists and archaeologists as to why they are there and how they were built. The spheres range up to 2.4 meters (8 ft) in diameter and are almost perfectly round.

It has been suggested that they were built for religious purposes, but there isn’t enough evidence to confirm this. To this day, it remains a mystery as to why the stones are there and how prehistoric humans managed to shape them with the most basic of tools. It is also a mystery as to how the stones were moved up hills and through the jungle, thick with trees. The resources required for making them cannot be found for miles around their locations, making the mystery even more confusing.

I found this article over on Listverse, but I've seen it before other places. Just thought I'd mention that little fact.

Coffee out on the patio again today. Gotta love it!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Time For Sunday 'Toons...!

Once again it's time to have a few laughs and enjoy some cartoons from the old days.

And maybe just one more...

Well, that enough for this morning. Have a great day.

Coffee out on the patio. I think it's warm enough today!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Creating The Perfect Crime...!

In this day and age, with all our modern tools and equipment, getting away with murder seems like an impossibility...right?

Well, here is one from long ago that might be a complete mystery for many, many years to come. No apparent motive, no access, and no way to escape the scene. Add to that with no apparent suspects and it almost boggles the mind.

A Perfect Murder: The Impossible Death of Isidor Fink
Who killed Isidor Fink? Most bafflingly of all ... how?

The murder of New York laundryman Isidor Fink ranks as one of the most infamous unsolved crimes of all time.

For armchair detectives, true crime buffs and fiction writers everywhere, it’s one of the classic “locked room” mysteries, where it’s very incredibly difficult to figure out how the crime was committed, never mind why.

At 10:30 P.M. on March 9, 1929, Fink was working late at his laundry. Neighbor Locklin Smith heard sounds of a struggle, and rushed to Fink’s door, fearing what she might find.

The door and windows were locked from the inside, save for a tiny transom window above the front door, which hung with its hinge broken. Officers arrived, and, unable to enter, found a young boy small enough to climb in through the transom and open up the door from the inside.

Related: 5 Unsolved Murders That Continue to Mystify What they found, upon entering, was Isidor Fink’s corpse, shot once in his left hand and twice in his chest. The key to the door was in the inside lock.

Being a somewhat fearful man living and working in one of New York’s rougher neighborhoods, Fink was constantly fearful of being robbed. His door was always locked, his windows were always locked, and he never allowed strangers to enter either his home or his business. According to his landlord Max Schwartz, Fink was a reliable tenant who never caused trouble, had no enemies and didn’t consort with women. This left detectives stumped when it came to a motive.

The case only got more confusing. There was no sign of robbery. Fink had money on his person, and his business cash remained untouched. A thorough search revealed no murder weapon or spent cartridges. The room was undisturbed: it hadn’t been turned upside-down by an assailant looking for something in particular.

It was commonplace in New York for gangsters to extort protection money from small businesses. But police found no evidence of Fink being extorted. No witnesses came forth to say they had seen Fink being approached for protection money.

What detectives had on their hands was an apparently motiveless crime. What’s worse: it was committed in a seemingly impossible manner.

There was no gun at the crime scene, which ruled out suicide. The gunshot wound on his hand showed powder burns, indicating he’d been shot at close range, but the door and windows (apart from the broken transom window which was too small for an adult to climb through) were all still locked. The only fingerprints at the crime scene were Fink’s.

The case was a frustratingly difficult one, for so many reasons. Not only was it impossible to find a motive for the murder, but it was impossible to find a suspect capable of committing it, from a purely logistical level. It was, to put it simply, the perfect crime.

Detectives were baffled. The New York Police Commissioner at the time, Edward Mulrooney, stated that the Fink case was unsolvable. So far, his assertion has held true.

Well, see what I mean? Still a mystery after all this time. Gotta love these old mysteries, right?

Coffee in the kitchen again today, OK?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Desert Roses For Freaky Friday...!

Here is something a bit out of the norm for you...Desert Roses.

Nature always has a way of creating things for us to sit back and enjoy. Of all things, this is probably one of her most special treats for our enjoyment. Some real eye candy here.

Desert Roses

Photo credit:

No, these aren’t petrified roses. Instead, they are made of crystal.

Found in dry, sandy areas such as the Sahara Desert, the “roses” are formed from disks of gypsum or baryte crystals stacked together over tens or hundreds of years to resemble the petals of a flower.

The crystals form when water evaporates and are shaped like flat plates that can measure up to 1 meter (3.3 ft) across. Clusters of desert roses may be found together, giving the appearance of a sandy bouquet. The largest single rose was 25 centimeters (10 in) high and weighed 57 kilograms (125 lb), while the largest cluster tipped the scales at 454 kilograms (1,000 lb).

With their beauty and unnatural appearance, it’s no wonder that they are sought after as prized specimens for collections.

These little things are really quite heavy for their size. They are pretty though. Nature takes a while to build on of these clusters and even a single rose. I'd say She has it down pat!

Coffee in the kitchen once again.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Crazy Snowballs...!

Who would have ever guessed that Mother Nature would make her own snowballs, just as if She were getting ready for an epic snowball fight?

According to this article I found over at Listverse, these almost perfect snowballs came straight from the sea. Nature did a good job on them from what I can tell.

Ice Balls

Photo credit: BBC

In a remote village in Siberia in 2016, the residents were greeted with an odd assortment of objects that seemed to have been washed ashore from the inner reaches of the sea.

Stretching for 18 kilometers (11 mi), giant balls of ice, some as large as 1 meter (3 ft) in diameter or as small as a tennis ball, covered the shore of the Gulf of Ob. It was as though nature was prepping for its own snowball fight. Even the village elders did not know what to make of it.

Also known as ice boulders, ice balls are formed out of frazil ice (a slushy mixture of ice crystals and water). Rough waters and strong winds roll the ice over and over again to give the balls their spherical shape, which can also take on a tan color due to sand.

Calmer waves result in a more flattened, pancake-like version. Unfortunately, with a weight of up to 23 kilograms (50 lb), these balls of solid ice would not make a snowball fight very enjoyable.

I don't think I want to be hit by a snowball weighing in at 40 to 50 lbs., or by any snowball at all to tell the truth. Just not my cup of tea, if you know what I mean.

Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. Still freezing on the patio.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Some Laughs For Wednesday...!

Sometimes I feel sorry for members of the gene pool that need signs like this to make them aware of the world around them. Unfortunately there does seem to be a lot of them around lately, ya know?

Maybe it's time to drain some of the gene pool and replenish it, ya think?

Coffee inside this morning. is COLD out!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Light Goes Boom...!

The very last thing you would expect to get an injury from is your flashlight, right?

Well, this article from Listverse proves just how dangerous this handy tool can be, given the right conditions. Pretty damn scary, if you ask me. I never even thought about something like this ever happening...never!


Photo credit: Meagan Fitzgerald/KUSA

In January 2015, Coloradoan Christopher Reid Carrington was searching for tools in the back of his truck. To free his hands, he held his flashlight in his mouth. A few seconds later, it exploded, causing third-degree burns to his lip, tongue, and throat. Blood gushed from his mouth, and he was unable to speak, but his seven-year-old son called 911. Carrington spent four days in the hospital, a tube down his throat helping him to breathe, before he was released. Doctors said he may never be able to taste anything again.

In a similar incident on November 7, 2017, in Bradley, Indiana, Caleb Joyner, 36, was injured when a flashlight exploded in his mouth.[2] After experiencing car trouble, he’d stopped in a parking lot to look under the hood of his car. The flashlight exploded when, while bending over for a better look, Joyner came too close to the vehicle’s battery. He died the next day in a local hospital.

I think that both of these incidents were very unusual, but it makes you stop and think; just how safe are the things we sometimes have to really count on. Just another nagging question to ponder, i reckon.

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Way too cold to go outside!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Just Wanted To Say...!

All I wanted to say this morning is...


Have a great day...!