As a teacher you get the occasional invitation from a student to attend one of their out-of-school activities. It might be an athletic event (I’d go sometimes) or a birthday party (I’d never go), maybe even a church play or something like that. Anyway, I’d try and go if it seemed important to the kid.

Back when I was teaching 6th grade a little girl named Erica asked if I’d like to come to her piano recital. It was going to be on a Sunday afternoon, so I said sure, why not? I figured I’d drop in for a few minutes, watch her little performance and be on my way.

Hey, a little support is always a good thing with kids, right?

Sunday arrived, and the recital was to begin at 1:00 PM in a local church. I got there a few minutes early, grabbed a program, and took a seat in one of the back pews. From the front row Erica saw me, and when her face lit up I was glad I’d come. It was then that I glanced down at the program to see when she’d take the stage. The first ominous sign was that they were beginning with the real little kids and moving up chronologically. Trust me, there were some real little kids there. The second thing I noticed was that the list of performers was a long one. Oh well. I planned to give her a thumbs-up after she was finished and sneak out anyway.

I ran my finger down the list, looking for Erica. Down and down I went until I found her name . . .

27th out of 27. She was the last kid on the list.

I sat through all 27 kids that day. I thought of leaving and coming back, but she kept glancing back at me and I was afraid if she saw I’d left she’d assume it was for good. So, I listened to 27 different piano recitals from kids ranging in age from 4 to 12. I heard Amazing Grace, Do Your Ears Hang Low?, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, the ever-popular Bingo (3-times), and a slew of other children’s songs.

By the time Erica’s turn came it was almost 4:00, and my ears were numb to the music. All I wanted to do was listen to her version of Mary Had a Little Lamb or The Entertainer or whatever the hell she was going to play, applaud politely as I pretended to love it, and rush home to catch the second half of the Bengal’s game.

But then, she started playing her song.

Let It Be.

A Beatles song she’d learned for me.

That’s why she’d asked me to come, and that’s why she’d kept looking back at me.

Turns out I didn’t have to pretend. It had been a long day, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t worth every minute.

Plenty.

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Part of the nearly 2,000-strong Thousand Islands chain, Just Room Enough Island was purchased in the 1950s by the Sizeland family who were looking to create a holiday get away. They built a house on the tiny speck of land placing the walls right up to the edges of the island, creating a home that was just big enough to fit, and giving the island its quirky name. A pair of bench chairs were placed in front of the home and there was also a tree on one side. Cool, man.

Note: They built the house as a private getaway, but over the years it has turned into a tourist attraction. Sad for the Sizeland family, huh? 

Note II: Does anyone else think “Sizeland” is an appropriate name for the family?

Note III: That house is begging for a deck, man.

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ITV – A new planet which could contain life has been discovered close enough aliento Earth to be reached by future space missions. The new world, which is slightly larger than our planet, is just 4-light years away in another solar system. It has been named Proxima B by astronomers. In terms of astronomical distances Proxima B is right next door, four light years is 25-trillion miles away. Astronomers believe that future generations of super-fast spacecraft could travel to the planet within the scale of human lifetimes.

First, everybody settle down. This is probably nothing to worry about. I mean, a new planet has been discovered 4-light years away, no big deal. 25-trillion miles is along way, amirite? Hell, you’d have to have spacecrafts that traveled really fast to get from Proxima B to Earth, and only a civilization much more advanced than ours would have such machines.

Wait.

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

PS – Proxima B sounds like a fancy shampoo or something. Horrible name.

Oh yeah.

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The top speed at the world’s first real automobile race in 1895 was just 15 mph.

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Kilganon is a professional dunker. Yeah, they had no idea.

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Note: The following should only be viewed by: A) Residents of Ross County over 55-years of age; B) People who love old highways; C) Local people who are interested in the fact that they drive by an old highway every day and have no idea it’s there; D) People who like this site and trust that I post interesting content. 

A lot of you may not know this, but there was another road that led from Bourneville to Chillicothe (and beyond) long ago. My dad always called it Old Route 50, and it was replaced, I believe, sometime around 1958-1962 by the road you drive on now. I don’t know if I remember it or think I do because my father talked about it so much. Old Route 50 was a twisting and turning road, and very narrow. Fascinated by old stuff as I am, I made a visit to the Ohio Department of Transportation here in Ross County and was pleased to find they were happy to print out an old map for me, showing me the original road. What I found was, to me at least, fascinating as hell. And here’s the thing – a lot of it is still there. Some parts you see every day (but I assume you don’t know what it is), and others are just out of sight but really cool if you know where to look. Below you’ll see some photos I took, with captions explaining each. I know a few of you will like these, so enjoy . . .

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This was taken a couple miles east of Bourneville, facing east. It’s part of a driveway going by the big house there. That’s Old Route 50, folks. You can see today’s Route 50 on the right.

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This was taken just over the rise from the last one, heading downhill. That flat strip of grass in the distance is where the road continued years ago. Again, there’s today’s road to the right.

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Here’s a closer view of the end of the original road. It continued straight ahead on that flat grass straight ahead. The curved, new concrete turning right was put in to accommodate the property owners and connect their driveway to the new road back in the day.

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This is about a mile past Blain Highway on the right. There’s the new Route 50 on the left. The old road continues up and down the hill, then crosses the new road about where you see that truck in the photo. Erosion has narrowed the old road and grass has moved in as you can see.

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This shows the old road descending down the hill. As I said, it’s about to curve left and cross where is now the new 50.

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This is where the old road crossed and continues onward. It’s right in front of the house sitting at the bottom of a long driveway and beside the bridge there on the right. Those two vehicles are actually sitting on the old road. In front of them there remains remnants of an old guardrail erected after the bridge there was destroyed.

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This was taken directly on the other side of the last photo, facing east. Had you crossed the bridge I mentioned under the last photo, this is the view you’d see. That’s the new road by the guardrail on the right.

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Old Route 50 ran right along these trees, parallel to today’s Route 50.

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Looking back to the west, you can see where the old road came out of these trees. Again, that’s the new road on the left.

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This part is great. Maybe a half mile before you get to Maple Grove Road, there’s a straight stretch where the power lines go over the road. There’s a big bank to your right. At the top of this bank a HUGE portion of Old Route 50 remains. It’s maybe 100-yards long and is very cool to see.

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More of the long stretch of Old Route 50.

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The same stretch, looking back west toward the power line. Amazing to think I traveled that very road as a little kid.

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Heading east again on that same long stretch of Old Route 50. Incredible that it’s still in such good shape.

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Here’s the last view of that cool stretch of Old 50. Now you can see the New 50 on the left. The road dead-ends into a driveway. Beyond that car is Moore’s Cemetery on the right, then Maple Grove Road.

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This was taken in front of the Moore’s Cemetery, just before reaching Maple Grove Road.

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Another view of the road in front of the Moore’s Cemetery, facing back west.

As you know I love history, and something about the old road fascinates me. I had no idea that long stretch still existed, man. I swear as I walked it I was shaking my head and smiling, imagining riding in the back of my dad’s car as a little kid, just looking out the window and probably daydreaming. Who was in the last car that drove that stretch? What kind of car was it? The mind reels.

I hope a few of you enjoyed this 1/10 as much as I did.

Sweet Jesus. Nightmare fuel. Watch both videos for optimum scared shitlessness.*

*It’s those kinds of words that separate this website from all others. You’re welcome.

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I knew it.

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Yeah, we all need to stop. Powerful stuff.

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ANDY RAY ANDERSON

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Andy Anderson: 1958-2016

November 18th,1958 – July 30th, 2016

Andy Ray Anderson of Venice, Florida passed away Saturday, July 30th, 2016 after a brief fight with cancer. Andy passed with his loving wife Cindi, beautiful daughter Ashlei, and old friend Rick Baum and wife Sue at his side.

Born and raised in Bainbridge, Ohio to Patricia “Patsy” and Charles “Dink” Anderson, Andy attended Paint Valley High School with his older brother Brent.

Andy’s exploits on the football field, baseball diamond and basketball court are legendary. He played college baseball at Kent State University and was inducted into the Paint Valley Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

In the late 1980’s Andy moved to Florida where he met and fell in love with the love of his life, Cindi Paine. On March 13, 1993 they welcomed their precious angel Ashlei Mae Anderson into this world.

Andy worked at many of the local pubs in Venice as a bartender, including Flannagan’s Pub and The Green Diamond, where he worked for the last 6-years.

In his spare time Andy loved to spend time with Cindi and Ashlei, who he loved more than anything in the world. By moving to Florida, Andy truly found what he was looking for.

Andy was loved by many and had a multitude of friends in both Ohio and Florida. Among those who spent time with Andy during his last days were lifelong friends Dave Shoemaker, Tom Elliott and Rick Baum.

Andy had a vibrant personality that could light up a room, was extremely loyal, and to count him as a friend was truly a blessing.

Andy was preceded in death by his parents, Patsy and Dink Anderson and sister-in-law Traci Paine Bartram. Also grandparents Helen and Starlie “Jim” Anderson and Frank and Sarah Swisshelm, Uncles William “Bill” Anderson and Donald “Jigger” Anderson, and cousins Ann and Mark Anderson.

He is survived by wife Cindi, daughters Ashlei and Lindsay, his brother Brent and sister-in-law Jill, his Aunt Lucy and Uncle Dave Anderson, Aunts Charlotte Anderson and Aunt Karen Anderson-Armstrong, and several cousins .

They say that the quality of one’s life is more important than the quantity, and Andy lived a fulfilling life that touched everyone with whom he came in contact.

Andy Anderson is gone, but he will never, ever be forgotten.

Ever heard of Salty and Roselle? If you haven’t it’s a damn shame because their story is amazing. Both were in the World Trade Center, Building 1, on September 11th, 2001 when the plane hit. Salty was on the 71st floor and Roselle was on the 78th, and both miraculously led their friends to safety amidst the chaos before the burning tower collapsed.

It may not surprise you to learn that Salty and Roselle were dogs, and they were the only guide dogs in the Towers that day.

When the attacks occurred that terrible day, Salty and his sightless owner, Omar Rivera, found themselves on the 71st floor. Refusing to leave Rivera’s side, Salty stayed with his best friend. About halfway down a co-worker, trying to help, tried to take Salty’s lead but it was a no go. Salty refused to leave Omar, leading him to safety and away from the soon-to-be fallen building.

Roselle? She was asleep under her blind best friend Michael Hingson’s desk on the 78th floor in Tower 1 of the when the attack commenced. She was awakened by the plane impacting some fifteen floors above them. Roselle then calmly and bravely led Hingson to Stairwell B despite the smoke, confusion and noise surrounding her.

She then proceeded to lead her owner and 30 other people down 1,463 steps and out of the tower. And do you know the only time Roselle stopped, about halfway down? It was to pause and lick the hands of some people going up the stairs – the firefighters.

Somehow, it seemed that Roselle knew.

The descent of took just over an hour, and just after exiting the tower, it collapsed, sending debris flying everywhere. Hingson later said, “While everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job, while debris fell around us, and even hit us, Roselle stayed calm.” Once clear, Roselle led her owner to the safety of a subway station.

Salty passed away in 2008 at the age of 11, and Roselle followed in 2011 at the age of 13. Both died as unsung heroes of 9/11.

Dogs, huh? If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times – one day we’re going fully understand what dogs know and just how much they understand, and the answer will surprise us.

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Barley Pop!

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In honor of The Walking Dead returning in October, I shall now present to you my four favorite zombie-proof houses. Enjoy.

The Winding Tower Shime Coal Mine in Japan

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This 156.3 ft tall structure was built from 1941 to 1943 and remained in operation for over 21 years before it was closed down in 1961. All you need to do is remodel the inside and you’re good to go. The perfect zombie safezone!

Dunbar Rock, Honduras

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Yeah, I know zombies can walk underwater. Still, they’re not real nimble and would have a helluva time getting up those rocks. Looks like you could easily make it defensible to me.

The Safe House

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The house has movable walls, only one entrance (which is located on the second floor) which is accessed after crossing a drawbridge. The perfect place to defend your family from the undead horde!

The Cold War Adirondack Park Missile Silo House

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Situated deep within the Adirondack State Park in Upstate New York, this cabin was built atop a cold-war era missile silo and is currently on the market for only $1.75 million dollars! You’ll be glad you purchased it when the zombie apocalypse comes calling!

Telling.

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“Just shut it, Carl. Shut. It.”

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M-m-m-m-m. Tasty.

Breakfast-cupcakes.

Genius.

Tip Jar

Stellar.

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History is not always just what we were taught in schools, folks. Some things truththat happened were simply a little too horrific to face at the time, were hidden to cover our country’s ass, or just sort of ignored and forgotten in the mists of time.

Sort of a “Nothing to see here, please move along” mentality if you will.

I’ve already written about what happened at the first permanent English colony in the New World, Jamestown, in my blog called Historic Feasts: The Truth About Jamestown. Yeah, bet you never read the following in your 4th Grade history textbook:

  • Turns out America was an absolutely terrible place to live in the beginning. Food was so scarce during the first winter that only 60 out of 500 colonists survived. That’s a survival rate of 12%, folks, which is not good. Anyway, everyone was really hungry so they had to resort to some rather, uh, interesting methods of chowing down. A government document from that time gives the gruesome details: “Driven thru insufferable hunger to eat those things which nature most abhorred, the flesh and excrements of man as well of our own nation as of an Indian, digged by some out of his grave after he had lain buried three days and wholly devoured him; others, envying the better state of body of any whom hunger has not yet so much wasted as their own, lay wait and threatened to kill and eat them; one among them slew his wife as she slept in his bosom, cut her in pieces, salted her and fed upon her till he had clean devoured all parts saving her.”

Yeah, brutal, I know. They ate dead bodies and poop. Yowza.

And it wasn’t just the people in the distant past who kept the nastiness on the downlow and out of the press. How about this nugget from the attack on Pearl Harbor?

On December 7, 1941, the USS West Virginia took heavy damage in the attack and settled onto the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Spilling oil, the twisted wreck was an explosion waiting for a spark. Problem was, after the battle recovery crews were forced to wait for the sea to wash away the flammable liquid before they moved in, a simple task that turned horrific when the banging started.

Seems that three men—Ronald Endicott, Clifford Olds, and Louis “Buddy” Costin—were trapped somewhere in the dark, flooded ship.

A small bubble of air had kept the trio alive, and they were desperately signaling for help, completely unaware of the situation with the oil. Unfortunately, rescue was too dangerous to attempt. Helpless bystanders and rescuers could only listen as the gut-wrenching banging carried on for days, never to be answered.

Sadly, 6-months later the ship was finally raised, and the corpses of the three men were found huddled in a small storeroom. A calendar they left there revealed that it had taken them 16-days to suffocate.

That’s almost too sad to comprehend, man, and this terrible tragedy was underpublicized and swept under the rug amidst the public furor and patriotism following the attack.

Around 45-years later the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all seven crew members. Most people assumed that the crew was killed instantly by the force of the blast. Unfortunately, that’s likely not true.

The part of the shuttle that housed the crew was ejected in the explosion but remained pretty much intact. Recovery teams sifting through the wreckage later found three activated emergency oxygen canisters, suggesting that at least three of the doomed astronauts survived the initial blast. This means that the unfortunate crew had a horrifically long time to stare their unavoidable death in the face during the 12-mile free fall back to Earth. Experts say the undamaged crew compartment soared to a peak altitude of 65,000 feet before even beginning its curve earthward.

And it was a full 2-minutes and 45-seconds before it made its fatal impact on the surface of the ocean.

After the tragedy, NASA took steps to hide evidence that the astronauts were aware of their impending doom, partly to spare the families of the dead but also out of simple embarrassment. However, sufficient evidence has been revealed to suggest that the astronauts suffered a fate far worse than death.

That’s just awful.

Additional Gruesome Fact: Astronaut Mike Smith’s final words, uttered for history and preserved on the Challenger crew cabin recorder, were as follows:

“Uh-oh.”

Sorry for the downer, kids, but we have to be honest about history, correct? Don’t we want to know the truth?

I know I do.

Yep.

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What a mother.

Mom Note

Gorgeous.

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Image  —  Posted: August 22, 2016 in Fails, Humor, Tweet of the Day, Tweets
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