Archive for September, 2017

I recently went on a short trip and spent a few days on the east coast, just hanging out at some beaches and visiting friends. It was nice to see some folks I haven’t seen in awhile, and with all the turmoil going on in our country it was nice to get away for awhile.

In addition, something happened on the way home that sort of restored my faith in humanity.

I didn’t really think ahead, and at one point I found myself coming up to a toll booth in Virginia with about $3.00 in change in my car. Oh, I had my ATM card and a couple credit cards, but the sign at the booth clearly said “CASH ONLY.” Since this toll was $2.00, I was good to go. However, I was worried about any more tolls on this particular turnpike. Once I got off I could hit an ATM and withdraw some cash for the rest of my trip.

With this in mind as I rolled up to the window and I saw an older African American woman working the booth. Then, the following conversation took place:

“Can you tell me if there are any more tolls up ahead? I don’t have any more cash.”

“Well, where are you headed?”

“I’m going to Ohio.”

See, what I didn’t understand was that she was thinking I was worried about tolls all the way home, not just on this turnpike. At the time, however, that didn’t occur to me. She was thinking about my whole trip, and I was just thinking about this turnpike. I could always hit up a ATM, but she thought I was broke and would be facing more tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

As I was still clueless regarding what was happening, she reached back, grabbed her purse and tried to hand me two twenty dollar bills. As she did she said this:

“Here honey. This should be enough to get you home.”

Yep. Here was a total stranger that I’d met 2-minutes ago trying to give me enough money for gas and tolls to get home. Incredible. I’m not sure what folks at toll booths earn by the hour, but $40 is $40. Hell, It just about brought tears to my eyes. And by “just about” I mean “it did.”

I then quickly explained my situation and told her to keep her money, and I also told her what I thought of her amazingly generous gesture.

She just smiled and waved me off, telling me to have a safe trip home. It wasn’t a big deal to her, but damn did it make me feel good.

And I wonder. If she tried to do it for me, how often did she actually do it for others?

I swear to God I’d give almost anything to hang with these guys for 3-4 hours on the golf course. Can you imagine? Hell, I used to hate George W but now I’d take him back as Commander in Chief in a heartbeat. And you know they were just ripping the Donald to shreds on the back 9. Man, I long for the good old days between 1992 and 2016.

PS- Carter wasn’t invited. Two-termers only. That’s badass.

 

Magpies are one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They’re the only non-mammal species able to recognize itself in the mirror.

Washington Post: Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery has learned of a giant rat known to locals as Vika that lives in the trees, is a foot-and-a-half long, and has teeth so sharp it can punch through a coconut. Yes, the Vika is very real.

Its scale-covered tail, great jaws and a few rare photos were revealed Wednesday in the Journal of Mammalogy.

Uromys Vika is the first rodent species to be discovered in the Solomon Islands in nearly a century, at the end of Lavery’s long search.

He was first drawn to this chain of hundreds of islands in 2010, as he researched mammals at the University of Queensland. Far off the coast of Australia, the Solomons are renowned for elusive, unique species that evolve in near isolation from the rest of the planet — like the Guadalcanal monkey-faced bat.

The PhD student was sitting around a fire with village elders on the island of Vangunu, in the thick-forested caldera of an ancient volcano. As rice and sweet potato cooked in the flames, Lavery recalled, he asked the elders what things he might find in the forests.

“They told me about this giant rat they called Vika,” he said. They said Vika lived in the trees, was a bit smaller than a possum, and was so strong it could chew through thick-shelled Ngali nuts.

And then one day in late 2015, back in Australia, he got a phone call from the island. Loggers in a camp outside the village had felled a Kapuchu tree — particularly prized for its wood. After the tree hit the ground, something big and brown came scampering out of it. The loggers knew an Australian scientist had been searching for Vika for years, and word of the animal spread through the village.

Two friends of Lavery — John Vendi and Hikuna Judge — managed to catch the animal.

It looked like an adolescent, and it had lost part of its tail in the fall or subsequent capture. Still, it was estimated to be a foot-and-a-half long, and might grow to weigh more than two pounds — four times larger than your average garbage rat.

Well, sweet Jesus. This is all we need, right? Monster possum-sized rats that live in the freaking trees? That’s just horrifying. But hey, they can only bite through coconut shells and thick-shelled Ngali nuts, so nothing to worry about.

PS- That Guadalcanal Monkey-Faced Bat is downright petrifying, huh? Looks like someone experimented with a Chihuahua and a Fruit Bat.

Perhaps they knew something the bride and groom didn’t.

[Click to scroll through the pics]

Or moon. I’m not sure.

Bullfrogs never sleep.

We’re here for ya.

Check out Luhu the Sad Cat, man. He’s sad.

So true.

Every teacher I know has experienced tough classes, those groups that were a little more difficult than others. One particular year I had a really troublesome group, and to make matters worse I had them the last period of the day. Any teacher will tell you that having a demanding group of kids at the end of the day is never a good combination.

Anyway, one year I had one such group, and when I say they were bad I mean bad. I had to constantly stay on top of them or the class would spiral into total chaos. There were one or two boys in particular that the rest of the class sort of fed off of, and it was just a difficult group to deal with all-around.

The year I had this particular class I was teaching Social Studies, and for the few years prior I’d been a part of our local Junior Achievement program, where local business men or women would come in and teach a class once a week for 8-weeks. They’d be given a lesson plan from the Junior Achievement folks and apply their knowledge and experience in teaching the class. As luck would have it, the Junior Achievement class was assigned to my last period.

Uh-oh.

Whatever poor schmuck was assigned to my class was in for a terrifyingly enlightening experience. Hell, I had some problems with this group and I rarely had problems with any class. There was simply no way this could end well.

Could the situation get any worse? Turns out it could. The businessman assigned to my class turned out to be . . . wait for it . . . my 75-year old retired father.

Dad had been the Purchasing Manager at the Mead Corporation for many years, he’d been asked to take part, and the woman running the program thought it would be nice to assign him to my class.

Oh boy. All I could envision was a bunch of 8th grade heathens running roughshod over my poor father. He’d never taught a day in his life and he’d just been handed the worst group of kids I’d ever had as an educator. I mean, I knew my Mom was a badass teacher, but Dad? I was worried.

As for Dad, I tried to warn him but he just sort of chuckled and shrugged it off. I also mentioned to my class that my father would be their Junior Achievement teacher, and they too sort of chuckled and shrugged it off. Man, did I dread seeing Dad walk through my classroom door on that first day. Poor guy was being fed to the lions and he had no idea.

Well, the day finally arrived and as I let Dad into my classroom the kids were, unsurprisingly, laughing and joking as I introduced him. I raised my voice at them and implored them to settle down. And then, my father began to speak . . .

He spoke quietly as he addressed the class. He never implored them to quiet down, never asked them to please pay attention. Incredibly, one by one the kids stopped talking, and one by one they slowly turned around, watched, and listened. There was something about his bearing, his attitude, that had the class in rapt attention.

And I swear to God he never raised his voice once.

Incredibly, this continued for 8-straight classes. Dad had them in the palm of his hand, man. They respected him simply because of the way he carried himself and the way he treated them. And boy, did I learn a lot from watching him.

Sure, teachers can learn a lot from in-services, education classes, and other resources. But I also think a lot of good teachers are simply born with that ability to relate, and to connect, with students. That first day I learned that my father was one of those people.

And I also learned to never, ever underestimate my Dad.

Clean, yet brutal hit. On a related note, that dude may have more than alcohol in his system.

In the 1770s, the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia laid claims and established control over areas that form parts of today’s Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Maryland. These claims would have been sorted by the Mason-Dixon Line that demarcated Pennsylvania from Maryland, but the survey was abandoned in 1767. In 1776, inspired by the ongoing Revolutionary War and fearing a civil war between both states, citizens of the disputed region declared independence and renamed the region “The Province And Government of Westsylvania.” Thereafter, they petitioned Congress to admit them as the 14th state of the Union. Congress ignored the petition, and the two states settled their border dispute in 1780. True story that I bet you did not know.

Her kids saw it first: A woman, pants around ankles, defecating before the Budde family’s Colorado Springs home.

Then it happened again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Each week brings a fresh pile of excrement to the sidewalk in front of Cathy Budde’s home, she told local station KKTV — at least seven so far. Budde calls her “The Mad Pooper.” Police remain baffled. The family feels helpless to stop her.
“I came outside, and I was like, ‘Are you serious?'” Budde said of the time she caught the woman, a jogger, in the act. “‘Are you really taking a poop right here in front of my kids?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, sorry!'”

Then the woman jogged away. She leaves only confusion, and also the paper towels that she wipes with.

Even in a world wrought with senseless violence, the Mad Pooper’s antics astonish. There’s a portable toilet at nearby John Venezia Community Park.  A gas station not far from that. So then why? Why the Budde family? And why now?

These questions haunt Colorado Springs residents, and the officers sworn to protect them. “For someone to repeatedly do such a thing, it’s uncharted territory for me,” Sgt. Johnathan Sharketti of the Colorado Springs Police Department told KKTV.

Listen, for me there’s almost nothing more disgusting than someone doing #2. Can’t deal with it, won’t deal with it. At basketball camps I’d walk up three floors of the dorm just find a private bathroom. And I’m still scarred from that time I was a freshman in high school and walked into the boys locker room to find Sammy Dickey sitting on the toileteating a peanut butter sandwich. That’s a sight that will be burned into my memory forever. Hell, I couldn’t eat peanut butter for 2-years. On a related note, I may or may not have broken up with a girl because she kept leaving the damn bathroom door open. Nothing, and I mean nothing, kills sexiness like seeing a woman taking a dump. So, if anyone deserves the death penalty it’s the Mad Pooper. Dead serious. Lethal inject that serial defecator, and do it immediately upon her capture.

PS- Ewwww.

First, the video:

The Guardian: A Russian attack helicopter accidentally fired at least one rocket into a crowd of Russian soldiers during large scale military exercises close to Nato’s borders, Russian media has reported. Three people were injured in the incident at the Zapad 2017 drills, a source close to the Russian Ministry of Defense said.

Man, bad look for Russia, amirite? Dude just launching rockets into his own army like a boss. That one dude walking toward the explosion has to be dead. And what are the odds Putin has executed this guy already? You don’t make Russia look bad, not on Putin’s watch.

Check out the Wallago Leerii, man. Dude is ugly as hell. This guy lives in Southeast Asia and can grow to up to 7-feet in length and weigh over 200-pounds. I’m no expert but that seems like a big-ass catfish. According to Southeast Asians, this bad boy makes excellent eatin.’ Anyhoo, Wallago Leerii.

AL.Com: Officials in Manatee County, Florida are under fire after an interpreter for the deaf warned about pizza and monsters during an emergency briefing related to Hurricane Irma.

The interpreter, Marshall Greene, a lifeguard for the county, has a brother who is deaf, according to the Daily Moth, a video news site that provides information via American Sign Language. Greene was used as the interpreter for a Sept. 8 press conference regarding the incoming storm and possible evacuations.

Members of the deaf community said Greene mostly signed gibberish, referencing “pizza,” “monsters,” and using the phrase “help you at that time to use bear big,” during the event. Other information signed to viewers was incomplete, experts said. 

Boy, it’s been a tough couple weeks for interpreters for the deaf, huh? First the guy with the funny faces and now this poor guy. Seriously, they pull the guy off lifeguard duty to interpret on TV because he has a deaf brother? Bro went rogue like you read about. Poor dude was way out of his league here. Meanwhile, chaos reigned as deaf people all over Manatee County were worrying about bears and monsters and debating going out for pizza in the middle of a hurricane. Sad really.

Evacuate now bear monsters are coming!

Yep. This used to happen.

There are no bridges over the Amazon River.

So the Donald was absolutely eviscerated by those damn pansy-ass Hollywood liberals at the Emmy Awards last night, and the Trumpians are up in arms. How dare these people criticize our president publicly! Outrageous! Un-American! You can’t belittle the Leader of the Free World! First, let’s watch the video:

Damn you actors to Hell! The highest ranked official in the land of the free and home of the brave would never stoop to such a level! Our president would never be so petty, mean-spirited and undignified! Wait. Never mind.

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Back in my first stint as a high school coach we were playing a much larger school in a town 25-miles northwest of us. We were really good, they were really good, the place was packed, and it was a tight game throughout.

During the game I’d been up pacing back and forth as usual, and I was getting on the officials pretty good. That said, it wasn’t anything unusual. I’ve been way more emotional in other games.

Anyway, it was midway through the third quarter when something happened that I’d never experienced before and haven’t since. As I was walking from the end of our bench to midcourt, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, expecting one of my players or managers to be standing there. Instead, what I saw was a policeman, albeit a very short one. Yep, he was just standing there looking right up in my face. Keep in mind the game was in progress and I hadn’t even received a technical foul. 

My first thought was “Why are you here?” My second thought was, “Get the hell out of here.” However, what I did was turn and walked away, at which point he grabbed my shoulder, and when I turned around he said this:

You need to settle down and take a seat.”

Incredulous, I looked around but there was no Athletic Director or school administrator in sight.  Hell, the game hadn’t even stopped so the referees were busy.

I was left to deal with the little dude myself.

I said, “You shouldn’t be out here. The officials are in charge of the game. I’m not breaking any laws. Go away.”

To which he wittily replied, “Sit down. Now.” I swear this happened, but sadly I have no audio. I do, however, have video, and what it shows is that little Barney Fyffe has his hand on his gun.

 

Had I noticed that little detail  I may not have said this:

“You have two choices. You can turn around and walk away or arrest me, because I’m not sitting down. This is a damn basketball game.”

Somehow, someway, and may I also say incredibly given his attitude, he stared at me for a second, then turned and walked out of the gym. And although I half-expected to see him out of the corner of my eye busting back through the door with an Uzi, he stayed there.

Good times.

Note: Incredibly, when I was AD it happened again, this time to an opposing coach at my school. I swear I felt like I was having flashbacks. This time I was there to go explain to the cop that he was out of line and escorted him off the floor. Amazing.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times. We’re going to know information about animals in 100-years that would stun us if we knew it today. Check out this chick casually making a hammock. Wild stuff.

Let’s begin will the coolest fact of all – Laysan Albatrosses mate for life. Boom. Man that’s impressive. And get this – the Laysan Albatross can glide over the open oceans for hours without a single freakin’ flap. Dudes just glide like you read about, and their long wings carry them hundreds of miles in a day’s time.
These cool birds live to be really old too. At last count, the world’s oldest Laysan Albatross had reached the age of 66. One last thing – when Laysan Albatrosses court they perform a pretty amazing mating ritual, making mooing noises and clicking their bills together. That’s cool, man. Insanity. Anyhoo, Layton Albatross.

[I demand that you watch the video below because it’s awesome]

California – Controversy erupts at Vista Del Lago High School in Folsom over students chanting “USA.”

It’s a popular way to for students to show pride during sporting events and rallies, but school and district officials are now warning students that the chants could appear inappropriate and intolerant. The chants are now causing chatter campus-wide after school staff brought up the topic to a leadership class.

The school’s principal told students and parents that sometimes “We can communicate an unintended message.” She also said USA chanting is welcome, but it may be best to do it at what she says are appropriate times, like following the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance.

The district says there has never been a complaint about USA chants at the high school. Students say there’s likely to be a lot of chanting at this Friday’s football game, where the theme is USA pride.

Well for the love of all that is holy and good WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? We can’t be proud of out country? And who in the world is a USA chant going to offend? The three foreign exchange students from North Korea? The ISIS guy hiding under the bleachers? I’d say no to both because they’re not at the game and if they were we should do it anyway because WE’RE IN THE USA! Sweet Mother of God.

PS- The first person who blames this on wimpy liberals is going to get punched in the throat by this non-wimpy liberal.