Archive for March, 2018

Miniature donkeys, man.

Weird indeed. There are some good ones there.

Aw man. Too damn good. I could watch these all day, and I just did.

So what you are about to read was printed in 1999, as you can see at the bottom of the article. The man who wrote it is David Gerrold. He knew.

Those who have read this site regularly over the past 6-years know well of the exploits of my beloved Sparky. The little guy has battled coyotes,  a horse-fly, sweepers, hobos, stingrays, the list is a long one. Little dude would battle a lion for me if he thought I was in danger.

Which brings me to his latest heroics.

This morning I let him out for a bit, then brought him back in to give him breakfast. Spark trotted off to the kitchen for a drink, and I stood there for a minute to turn on the TV. It was then I thought I felt something on my neck, but I reached up and nothing was there. I just figured it was a thread on my shirt or something and forgot about it. However, about a minute later I felt something on my left hand. I glanced down and to my horror, there on the back of my hand, was a spider the size of a golf ball. It was just sitting there looking up at me with its 12 damn eyes. I swear to God it was all swollen up like one of those you see on a YouTube video that people step on and a million little spiders come crawling out. Just horrifying, man.

We locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity, and at that point I may or may not have shrieked like a 9-year old girl. Then I violently shook my hand, trying to shake the monster off of me. It disappeared, but then a God-awful thing occurred – the beast was attached by a web strand and bounced right back at me. First it landed back on my chest, and I knocked it off. Then it dropped about halfway to the ground and snapped right back up at me, right towards my face. Luckily I batted it away, but it popped right back at me again like a freakin’ 8-legged yo-yo. The web was a like a rubber band I tell ya. It was an absolute nightmare come to life. .

Enter the Spark.

My best friend, who’d been in the kitchen getting a drink, had heard his buddy wailing away like a madman in the living room. He came bursting around the corner like a canine possessed, assessed the situation in about .3 seconds, and went into action. Before the fiend could launch another attack, land on my neck and administer a life-threatening bite, he met his match. Spark leapt up, grabbed it, and whipped it away. Hey, that web was strong but it was no match for the Spark’s fangs.

After he tossed it aside he immediately turned and found it on the floor, picked it up, and tossed it again. This happened 2 or 3 times. Now you know the Spark is smart, so what he did next shouldn’t surprise you. I opened the door, and he instinctively picked the monster up, ran outside and whipped it away into oblivion.

I actually went out and looked for it, but the demon was nowhere to be found. In my mind it’s still out there, planning its next attack.

Better think again, spider mutant. The Spark will be waiting.

PS- I swear Sparky knew not to actually bite the thing. He would sort of pick it up with his teeth and whip it away quickly. Spark, man.

Check out those eyes. Sparky knows things.

Awesome.

BUFFALO, Minn. – A teenager taking her driver’s test crashed through the driver’s examination station before she even got on the road. The Star Tribune reported that the 17-year-old crashed a 2014 Chevy Equinox into the building Wednesday afternoon in Buffalo, Minnesota. The driver was not hurt, but a 60-year-old woman working as the license examiner sustained non-critical injuries and the vehicle was significantly damaged. It happened after the teenager put the Equinox in drive instead of reverse at the start of the test, according to the paper.

Man, talking about burying the lead, huh? And by burying I mean not even mentioning it. What I mean is, did she pass the damn test? Come on, one little screw-up shouldn’t determine whether you can drive or not. Hell, she hadn’t even hit the highway yet, just the, you know, building. Common driving error. And she had a 50% chance of picking the wrong direction anyway. Well, 33% if you count park. D, R, P, it’s easy to get them confused. And besides, look at that photo. She barely scratched the damn building. Give the kid a break, man.

PS- Can you imagine the woman inside when that 2014 Chevy Equinox came bursting through that wall? That had to be comedy gold.

I know, I know. More people die more from falling soda machines than from sharks every year, blah-blah-blah. But holy Mother of God that beast is the size of a 2009 Toyota Camry. Dude could have taken that boat down in seconds and consumed everything in it. Hey, I saw Jaws. Don’t tell me it couldn’t. That’s a 2,000-pound killing machine, man. And I love how the guys in the boat are laughing nervously. You do that when you’re 5-seconds from getting ripped to shreds by rows of razor-sharp teeth. I honestly can’t say how I’d have reacted, though. I’d have probably just wept.

PS- The ocean has to be the scariest freaking place on earth, man. 

Kotisaari Island was a traditional stronghold of the Lumberjacks in Kemijoki, Finland and is located in the middle of the scenic Kemi river. The photos are from each season.

Know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Yeah, I’m referring to WWI airplane technology, and it was wild stuff. Read on . . .

See, during WWI (also known as The War to End All Wars, wishful thinking at its finest), airplanes were still a very new technology. Planes that could fly for extended periods of time were only a few years old, and people were still trying to figure out how they would work in combat.

One of the most logical steps was to add a big gun to the front of a plane so it could shoot down other planes and kill people and whatnot. Machine guns were a logical complement to aircraft, but there was one problem –  how to stop the bullets from hitting that big propeller in the front? Early propellers were made of wood, man, and one mistake and you’d be shooting your own self right out of the damn sky.

Anyway, machine guns were mounted on the top of the fuselage, directly in front of the pilot, but that position placed the gun directly behind the propeller. The gun had to be designed to fire through the propeller without hitting it, which basically sounds insane considering how fast the propeller was spinning. Well, being the innovative folks that we were, we sure enough did it.

What we invented was something called synchronization gear, which restricted the machine gun so it could only fire in between the propellers. It involved an irregular-shaped disk that triggers the gun to fire once per revolution, at a specific point. This produces a high rate of fire without the risk of hitting the propeller. Diabolical, man.

Anyway, check out the cool slow-mo video below to see this in action. Just remember that the propeller was moving infinitely faster while in flight. Amazing really.

The Portuguese Man of War is one of the badasses of the sea. It’s tentacles can grow up to 160-feet long and deliver one helluva paralyzing sting. It pops up that sail-looking thingy and sails across the ocean like a ship, hence the name. Bottom line, if you see one on the beach, although it looks real purty do not pick it up or you’ll feel like you grabbed a live electric cable. And get this – they reproduce sexually via a method known as broadcast spawning. Large groups of individuals come together, where females release their eggs and males release their sperm into the water column, all at the same time, sorta like your parents did back in the 60s. That’s cray, man. Anywho, Portuguese Man of War.

Wow. You have to look real close to find Bangladesh.

So the NFL’s annual league meeting was held in Orlando this past weekend and 29 of the 32 coaches posed for a spectacular photo. Bill Belichick did not pose, ostensibly because he thinks he’s too good to be photographed with his lowly contemporaries, or perhaps he’s still embarrassed from the ass-whipping he took at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Whatevs. Anywho, let’s take a look at the photo and then I’ll give you my predictably snarky yet hilarious comments. First, take a gander . . .

Phew. Alright, let’s do this. And don’t forget to click on the photo for a better look at it in all its awesomeness. First off, let’s just get this out of the way right now. Andy Reid (second from right, front row) simply dominates this photo from the get-go, because that Tommy Bahama number just screams “I don’t give a damn.” And those slip-ons and white shorts are the height of style, man. And check out little Jon Gruden at the top middle. Dude is sportin’ that trademark scowl like you read about. And hey, how about our guy Marvin Lewis in the white shirt, front row just right of center. He has that same look he has on the sidelines, and that is a look of absolute confusion and dismay. And man, I don’t to be politically incorrect but Matt Patricia (3rd from the end on the top right) has really packed on the poundage. He makes Andy Reid look like an Olympic gymnast, and those poofy, spectacularly billowing pants don’t help. Finally, if there’s one guy who wants to get out of there it’s Mike Zimmer there in the front row, second from the end. Scowl for days, man.

Seriously though, doesn’t that photo look like the worst season of The Bachelorette ever?

Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

 

Interesting.

People seem to think of school tragedies as relatively recent events. And although they do seem to be getting more deadly and more frequent, the fact is school shootings go back as far as the 1760s. Most were isolated events though, and not pre-planned attacks aimed at killing large numbers of people. You can check this link to see how often it’s happened, and it might surprise you.

I think the first time I was ever really aware that something like this could even happen was back in 1979 when Bob Geldof wrote the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” for his band The Boomtown Rats. The song was about Brenda Spencer, a 16-year old girl who lived across the street from Cleveland Elementary School in California. She opened fire on the school and killed a principal and a custodian. She also injured eight children and a police officer. As she was still in the house and before the police busted in to arrest her, a reporter called her and asked her why she was doing this. Her response was “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” Geldof read about this, wrote the song, and it went straight to #1. Here’s the weird, chilling video if you’d like a look:

I have a vague recollection of Charles Whitman and the University of Texas tower shootings as a kid, and I’ve since read a book about it as well. Still, the more recent attacks at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and of course the latest at Parkland are the events mentioned whenever people talk about school tragedies. However, there’s one horrific event that rarely gets mentioned among the others, and although guns weren’t involved it remains the oldest and deadliest school massacre in U.S. history – the bombing of Bath Consolidated School in Bath, Michigan.

The year was 1927.

Andrew Kehoe was a seemingly regular guy who resided in Bath. He graduated from Michigan State and was a part-time treasurer at his local school. He also farmed and was a member of the Bath school board. As far as anyone knew he was happily married and living a contented life.

They were wrong.

What a lot of folks around Bath didn’t know was that the bank had foreclosed on Andrew Kehoe’s farm, and he blamed local taxes that had recently been put in place to build the new school. In addition, his wife had been sick. Little did anyone know that Andrew Kehoe was about to snap, and he was going to take out his anger on the new Bath School and its inhabitants, 250 students in grades kindergarten through 12th.

Bath School, before the bombing.

In the days leading up to May 18th, Kehoe stacked about 500 pounds of explosives in the school’s basement. Because he did odd jobs around the school he had unlimited access. The dynamite was to be detonated by a timer at 8:45am.

As fate would have it, only some of the explosives went off. Amid the chaos and minutes after the blast, Kehoe drove up to the school and got out of his car. Nobody is sure exactly how he knew Kehoe was involved, but Principal Emory Huyck ran over to him. Kehoe saw Huyck coming, then grabbed his gun and fired it into his trunk, setting off explosives he’d placed there. That blast killed him, Mr. Huyck and an innocent person standing nearby.

All told, 44 people were massacred that morning, 38 of them children between the ages of 6 and 8. Another 58 were injured. Had the other explosives detonated, the toll could have been upwards of 250.

Later, authorities found that Kehoe had murdered his wife in the days leading up to the massacre.

Why has this incident been lost over time? One reason is that Andrew Kehoe died that day, so the case was over with no trial. Another is that shortly after the bombing, Charles Lindbergh made the first flight across the Atlantic and that news dominated the newspapers for months.

Nobody knows exactly why, but although it remains our nation’s worst ever school attack, Andrew Kehoe and the Bath School Bombing has been largely forgotten.

So here’s the story. A man in St. Louis bought a house only to find a Pit Bull had been left in the basement. Turns out a squatter had been living in the house, then took off and abandoned this poor dog for God knows how long. The guy immediately called Stray Rescue of St. Louis, who showed up to save this poor pup. Due to the dog’s sheer joy of being rescued and her constant leaping about, the rescuers dubbed her Jumping Bean. How could anyone leave a dog behind like this? Unimaginable. Glad this story had a happy ending, man. Here’s to Jumping Bean.

Check out the Blackspot Tuskfish, man. What makes this guy so special, you ask? Oh, he’s just the first wild fish ever to be filmed using a tool, that’s all. That’s right, kids, the Blackspot Tuskfish was seen holding a clam in its mouth and whacking it against a rock. Soon the shell gave way, the fish gobbled up the tasty clam, spat out the shell fragments, and swam off like the little boss that it is. Check out the video below for this guy in all his awesome glory. Anywho, Blackspot Tuskfish.

Note: For more animal awesomeness, just type “Cool Animal” into the search box on the left there and enjoy. 

Beautiful. Click for a close-up.

Studies suggest that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

 

So I guess Diamond Dermal Piercing is a popular thing now? How did I miss this? I guess you can have a diamond ring without the actual, you know, ring? Seriously, don’t these people worry about catching their diamond on something and ripping their skin off? I know I would. Also, how does it work? It’s not like a piercing that goes through to the other side. I’m confused. Anywho, who does this? I’m legit curious to hear your thoughts.

Sometimes people just stumble into cool idea, ya know? For instance, some dude named Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation in 1945. During one experiment the candy bar in his pocket began to melt. Boom! The microwave was invented.*

*Fun Fact: The first microwave oven was called a Radarange, and it weighed 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall and cost about $5,000. That’s wild.

Anyway, other stuff like x-rays, artificial sweeteners and even penicillin were invented by mistake. Seriously, look it up. I wouldn’t like to ya. But on to the point of this blog, and that is what foods were invented by accident. Let’s do the thang . . .

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yep, the delicious goodness called Chocolate Chip Cookies were a mistake. It happened in the 1930s when a restaurant owner named Ruth Wakefield added pieces of chocolate to her cookie mix, hoping the fragments would melt and turn the batter into a chocolate brown. The chips remained solid, however, people loved them, and the chocolate chip cookie was born. And thank God for that, right?

Note: My niece Sasha can cram more chocolate chips into a chocolate chip cookie than any human being on earth. That’s a fact.

POPSICLES

The popsicle was invented by an enterprising 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson in 1905. You see, young Frank left a glass of soda on his San Francisco front porch by accident one night with a stirring stick still it. The next day, after a chilly night, the drink had frozen. Frank pulled the stick out and, to his surprise, the drink came with it. He went ahead and licked it and found it to be quite tasty. That fateful morning stuck with him, and years later, when he was 20, he patented them as Popsicles.

POTATO CHIPS

In 1853 there was a chef named George Crum at Moon Lake House Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. After a customer sent back a batch of fried potatoes complaining that they were not thin enough, Chef Crum got pissed. He sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he possibly could, fried and salted them, and sent them back out to the complainer. That’ll teach him! However, to George’s amazement the customer loved them, and soon the word of these crunchy fried potatoes spread across the region. The Potato Chip was born.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

First off, this has to be the most widely mispronounced word in the English language, amirite? People always say Worchester Sauce when it’s really Worcestershire sauce, damn it. Anywho, it was invented by the British chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins in the 19th century. The pair were asked to create a tangy sauce for a client who liked Indian cuisine, but the product they created was so strong it was inedible. So, they put it away for a few years. Alas, when they pulled it off the shelf a few years later and tried it again they were stunned to find it was now perfect. Viola!

THE SANDWICH

Wait. What? ‘Tis true! The sandwich is named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. It’s said that the Earl, who was quite the gambler, ordered his servant to bring him meat held between two pieces of bread so that he didn’t have to stop to eat a proper meal. Hence, the sandwich!

Note: This story is widely disputed. Still, I like it so I choose to believe it.

NACHOS

Ah, nachos. So good. But here’s how they came to be. Ignacio Nacho Anaya was a maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. One day in 1943, a group of ten military wives crossed the border from Fort Duncan Army base and demanded some grub. Unable to track down the chef and faced with the ten hungry ladies, Anaya decided to improvise—he covered a plate of tostadas with grated cheese, passed it through a salamander (a broiling unit that heats food from above), and topped the whole thing off with jalapeños. Of course the women loved it, and one of the women dubbed the dish “Nacho’s Special”, which was later shortened to just “Nachos” when Anaya took the dish to his own place—Nacho’s Restaurant.

BEER

We’re pretty sure the Mesopotamians invented the delicious Barley Pop about 10,00 years ago. What happened, you ask? See, when Mesopotamians began storing grains for bread, their storage spaces occasionally became damp which caused the grains to ferment. This fermentation process resulted in a liquid that was the earliest beer. Some lucky Mesopotamian sampled the strange liquid, got a buzz, and the rest is history. On a related note, three years later the first beer gut was spotted.

HOT & SPICY CHICKEN

Hot & Spicy Chicken was invented in Nashville, and its origins are at the world famous Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Restaurant lore traces the recipe back to current owner Andre Jeffries’ great-uncle Thornton Prince, an infamous womanizer. When she thought he was cheating, one of his jealous lover’s fed him extra-spicy chicken out of vengeance. Problem was, Thornton liked it so much that he began cooking it at his restaurant. Crazy but true.

COKE

Coke was invented in 1886 by a guy named John Pemberton. Pemberton was a wounded veteran who had become addicted to morphine, so he tried to create a replacement to stave off his addiction. Through some messing around in his pharmacy, he created a tonic that eventually became the original Coca Cola formula. As you may have heard, it contained small amounts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut. Let’s just say the original Coke could give you quite the high. Anyway, in 1887, another Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Candler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from Pemberton for $2,300. By the late 1890s, Coca Cola was one of America’s most popular fountain drinks.

CHEESE PUFFS

Here’s what happened. The Flakall Company up in Wisconsin invented a machine that crushed grains for animal feed without hulls and grain dust. A bro named Edward Wilson noticed that workers poured moistened corn kernels into the machine to reduce clogging. The machine got so hot that the moist cornmeal came out in puffy ribbons, hardening as it hit the air and fell to the ground. Wilson took the ribbons home, added oil and seasoning, and made the first cheese curls. Genius!

ICE CREAM CONES

At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor had run out of bowls. Back then that’s how everyone ate ice cream, from a bowl. Earnest Hamwi, a neighboring concessionaire, rolled the waffle-like pastries he was selling (they were called Zalabis) into a cone so his neighbor’s ice cream could be held inside, just to lend a friend a hand. People loved it, and the Ice Cream Cone was born.

SLURPEES

Omar Knedlik, owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Kentucky, had a fountain machine that kept breaking down, so he had to store his sodas in the freezer, sometimes for too long. His customers didn’t mind, though. In fact, they kept on ordering “those pops that were in the freezer a little bit longer.” Realizing that his disaster had turned into an opportunity, Knedlik built a new machine to deliberately produce that strange, frozen drink that everyone loved. Later, the ICEE dispenser was bought by more than 300 companies before 7-Eleven licensed it in 1965 and renamed the drink “Slurpees.”

And there ya have it, cool foods that were created entirely by accident? Cool, right?

One day, when we look back from our cells in which the apes have imprisoned us, we will realize that it all began with Louis, the first ape to have the audacity to behave such as us. Louis did not care. He was the leader of the Great Takeover of 2023. Louis, just strutting around human-like like the boss that he was. Louis, man. King of the Apes, and soon us.

The actor Creed Bratton went by his actual name in the TV sitcom The Office, playing Creed Bratton. He was also a member of the band The Grass Roots.

 

Creed Bratton, far right.

 

 

Yeah. This view right here.

Just a quick note for all you guys out there that drive those giant trucks. You know, the ones that have tires taller than my little Veloster that I affectionately call Ruby. Yes, I named my car. Deal with it.

Anyway, here’s the deal. Today I was pulling onto Bridge Street getting ready to turn right. I was on a two-lane road going one way, so Giant Truck Guy could pull up beside me to turn left. Now, I had to simply turn right onto the street, but Giant Truck Guy had to cross traffic to turn left. Do you have the visual or have I completely screwed this up? OK, to the 12% of you that are still with me let me proceed.

What does Giant Truck Guy and 99% of all Giant Truck Guys do in this situation? They pull up right beside me, or maybe a little bit in front of me, so I can’t see a damn thing. See, Giant Truck Guy, you can literally see over me, but all I can see is the writing on the side of your giant front tire. Hence, I cannot turn left without risk of getting t-boned by an oncoming soccer mom van, all because of your inconsideration. Is there a solution to this problem, you ask? There is. Simply stay back a tad so I can see around the front of your giant grill. After all, from your vantage point you can undoubtedly see to Lake Erie, so this shall come as no inconvenience to you.

See? Easily fixed. Thank you and good day.