Author Archive

I know, captivating title. You’re welcome.

Anyway, this is a time-honored question that has plagued the minds of the citizenry for decades. Why do people feel the need to stick their tongues out when a camera is focused upon them or when talking a selfie? Such a strange custom, amirite? And isn’t it sort of rude and off-putting? But maybe that’s the point? The mind reels. Here’s what my crack staff found out after minutes hours of mind-numbing research on the interweb, or more specifically Psychology Today: 

No scholar appears to have covered tongue protrusion systematically, comprehensively, and cross-culturally. It’s safe to say that no ultimate, authoritative source yet exists to account for the phenomenon. 

Well, hell, Psychology Today is no help. Bottom line, there are a lot of people who are plagued with the idea that this is a good look for them.

Hey, this is just my opinion but if you’re above the age of 18 and you’re sticking out your tongue in pictures we will all be making fun of you for it.*

*Unless you live in a Tibet where sticking your tongue out is a common greeting. In that case you get a pass.

With all that said, let’s take a look at some examples, followed by some historic tongues, or the possible originators if you will.

Yeah, I don’t get it either, but maybe we can blame this guy?

No? What about these two?

That’s Gene Simmons of KISS and Debbie Harry of Blondie for all you youngbloods out there. But let’s go back a little farther. Can we blame it on the Rolling Stones?

Nah, surely not. But wait, I just had an epiphany. I think I’ve got it! It goes back to THIS rapscallion!

Einstein, man. Dude was a pioneer in more ways than one.

Anyway, grownups, please spare us the sight. Put that obnoxious flappy tongue back in your mouth. Nobody wants to see it, and despite what you might think it’s not cute, funny, silly, or sexy. It’s just gross. And to those of you who continue to adhere to this goofy practice I say this:

 

PS- This brought up an interesting debate amongst the staff here at Shoe: Untied – Has the flappy tongue replaced the dick lips is selfiedom? I say it has.

PPS-

 

 

Nebraska. Who knew? Complete rankings are below the map.

Here the 2019 rankings:

1. Nebraska
2. Iowa
3. Missouri
4. South Dakota
5. Florida
6. Kentucky
7. Kansas
8. North Carolina
9. Montana
10. Hawaii
11. Arkansas
12. Wisconsin
13. North Dakota
14. Vermont
15. New Hampshire
16. Alabama
17. Texas
18. Idaho
19. Mississippi
20. Wyoming
21. Oklahoma
22. Tennessee
23. Massachusetts
24. Michigan
25. West Virginia
26. Ohio
27. Rhode Island
28. Georgia
29. Indiana
30. Connecticut
31. Maine
32. Delaware
33. Colorado
34. Pennsylvania
35. Utah
36. Louisiana
37. New Mexico
38. Arizona
39. Virginia
40. Minnesota
41. South Carolina
42. New Jersey
43. California
44. Oregon
45. Nevada
46. Washington
47. Illinois
48. Alaska
49. New York
50. Maryland

MJ was an absolute assassin. Trash talk him and you were toast.

Check out that Dracula Parrot, man. Looks like a cross between a parrot and a damn vulture. It’s also known as the Vulturine Parrot, or Pesquet’s Parrot, and its featherless face gives it a bit of a frightening look. This dude mainly eats figs though, not meat. Scientists think its bare face might be an adaptation to prevent bits from sticking to it when diving into a meal, just like a vulture. This guy is native to forests in Papua New Guinea. Anywho, Dracula Parrot.

Over my coaching career I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of good coaches and have become pretty good friends with a few of them. Huggs, Billy Hahn, Gary Williams, Jimmy Patsos, Mike Lonergan and some others are all friends and top notch coaches that I’ve learned a lot from. Through those connections I’ve been able to sit in on the practices of Coach K, Jerry Tarkanian (also had drinks with him and Dickie V but that’s a whole other blog), Tom Izzo (slept in his basement which was pretty cool), Thad Matta, Joe. B. Hall, Rick Barnes, Archie Miller, Keith Dambrot, Skip Prosser, Pete Gillen, Jay Wright, and The General himself – Bobby Knight.

With Coach Knight back in the news (he returned to Assembly Hall last weekend for the first time in 20-years) I was reminded of the first time I met him. It was w-a-y back in the fall of 1985 and I went to Bloomington for a weekend to watch practices. My head coach at the time had some connections, hence the allowance into the otherwise private practices.

As I recall the first practice was around 11:00 AM, and we arrived at Assembly Hall a good 30 to 45-minutes early. Somebody, I can’t recall who, walked us in and sat us at a table right at mid-court. Shortly after we sat down another guy walked in with a big kid in a letterman jacket and they were seated beside us.

The Indiana staff that year was comprised of Ron Felling, Kohn Smith, Royce Waltman and Joby Wright, and one of the graduate assistants was Dan Dakich, who I’ll get to shortly.

I remember Wright in particular was running around nervously, awaiting the arrival of The General and making sure the players were doing what they were supposed to be doing during pre-practice.

Finally, a few minutes before practice was to begin Coach Knight came strolling in wearing a fishing hat and vest. I’m being dead serious here. He’d clearly been doing some angling that morning and hadn’t gotten around to changing yet. After a couple laps around the court he stopped, shook our hands, told the kid beside me to take his hat off, even though coach was wearing a bucket hat with fishing lures stuck to it.

Everyone was scared to death, including me. Hey, I was not yet 30 and had seen The General on television. Hell, it was just 9-months prior when he did this:

Anyway, the dude was a little scary and I was a young coach who was completely intimidated by the legend that was Bob Knight.

He soon went back to the locker room, changed into his coaching gear, and proceeded to begin practice. As we watched, Knight was patrolling the court, making sure everything was done with pinpoint precision. At one point he stopped, pointed at grad assistant Dakich, and told him to move the line up in a drill he was running. Knight walked away, turned to look back, then went back to Dakich and let him have it:

“Damn it Dakich! I told you to move the line closer to the basket! If you can’t follow directions you’ll be running the damn steps!” 

I have to admit it was a little surprising, even to me. I mean, making players run stairs is one thing but I’d never seen a coach threaten an assistant with it. With that still on my mind, when we went to the locker room after practice I asked Dakich if Coach Knight had been serious and he said that absolutely he was, that it wouldn’t have been the first time a grad assistant had run the stairs.

Finally, we actually got to go into Coach Knight’s office and have a chat with him about practice and the state of the team. He was polite, answered questions, and all-in-all it was a nice visit.

A surprise came later though, when John Feinsten’s book “A Season on the Brink” was published. It was a best-seller that detailed Indiana’s 1985-1986 season, and Feinstein had been given unprecedented access to the team and coaching staff. As I read the book I came to a passage that detailed Knight yelling at Dakich and threatening him with running the stairs. Feinsten then recounted a “visiting coach” asking Dakich in the locker room if it was a serious threat and Dakich saying that indeed it was. I have no recollection of Feinstein being there, but apparently he was. Anyway, in a roundabout way I made it into the book. Wild stuff, man. Look it up.

So that was my one and only interaction with Bobby Knight. I saw him at a clinic a couple years later, said hello, he responded with a “Hmmprfgh” and went on his way. Apparently I hadn’t made much of an impression on him, or maybe he was just being an asshole. I have no idea.

And oh yeah, one more thing. Only later was I told that the kid beside me, the kid that Bobby Knight had instructed to take his hat off, was none other than high school sophomore Shawn Kemp. Yeah, that Shawn Kemp, the future 6-time NBA All-Star:

PS- I also saw Knight throw a high school coach out of one of his clinics for talking during his presentation. True story.

PPS- During that same clinic there were a couple aspiring officials in attendance who happened to be deaf. One of them asked Knight if he thought their handicap would present any problems for them as referees. His response was “I don’t know why it would. We have plenty of blind refs already.” Savage.

NYP – A mysterious object 500-million light years away has baffled scientists after transmitting signals that hit Earth every 16-days. Scientists do not know what is causing the phenomenon, but it is being recognized as the first reliable pattern of fast radio bursts in deep space.

Astrophysicists discovered the pattern in data from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, radio telescope in British Columbia. In this particular instance, around one to two radio bursts will blast out per hour for four days before going silent for 12-days. The cycle then repeats itself.

These newly discovered repeating bursts suggest that someone, or something, is controlling them.

And so it begins. First a minor blurb in the New York Post, then a sighting of a major asteroid that’s not really an asteroid heading our way, then we’re all laser beamed into smithereens. Seriously, I’ve read Steven Hawking. Basically he said any civilization that has the capability to cross inter-galactic space can treat humans however the hell they want. On a related note, the histories of advanced civilizations meeting primitive ones doesn’t bode well for humankind. What I’m trying to say is that it’s all over, kids. Farewell and goodnight.

PS- Wait. It’s 500-million light years away. Which means it was doing this 500-million years ago, right? I’m so confused.

 

Not a coffee drinker so I do not care. Italy is a bit of a surprise though.

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman purchased a $548,000,000 vessel named Serene. Paul Allen built a yacht named Octopus for $200,000,000. Bill Gates (who happens to be my age and that’s sort of depressing) recently made a purchase worth $645,000,000 because why the hell shouldn’t he? Our boy Bill is the first to buy an eco-friendly mega-yacht that is run entirely on liquid hydrogen. Instead of greenhouse gases, it emits nothing but water. That’s cool. Plus, the yacht can travel 4000 miles before its two tanks have to be refilled, because who wants to pull your mega yacht into Hank’s Marina down in Sayulita? Not I. Anywho, take a gander . . .

[click, scroll, be amazed]

Note: Don’t miss the video below the photos. Incredible.

Da hell? Pig Dog? Pony Pig? The mind reels. What is it? Scroll down to find out.

Here’s the photo flipped 180 degrees. Does this help? No?

Ah, there it is. Puppy! And the best part is that his name is Doug.

So good. So, so good.

[click and scroll for the funniness]

Aw, man. Check out those Tiny Horses. Just adorable as hell. Tiny Horses, also known as Miniature Horses, were first developed in Europe in the 1600s and . . . ah, screw it. Just enjoy these photos. Anywho, Tiny Horses.

Ossi Saarinen is a 23-year-old Finnish wildlife photographer. Check out these photos showing the enchanting and magical side of his motherland. Finland, man. Looks amazing.

[click to enlarge, then scroll your little hearts out]

The Metro- Meet Aayla the rescue seal and Stanley the two-year-old-dachshund, who met at the Sea Life Trust Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall, England. They met while Stanley’s owner, Melanie Talbot, was vacationing there. Despite being from different places, living in completely different environments, and the fact they’re totally different species, these two apparently had an instant connection.

Upon meeting, a curious Aayla swam right up to the window of her tank and pressed her nose to Stanley’s through the window. The pair then spent 20-minutes hanging out and posing for pictures.

Guess this proves you can’t stop love, huh? Two crazy kids run into each other at a Seal Sanctuary, and despite coming from different sides of the tracks and being two different species love blossoms like you read about. Oh, I’m sure they’ll have their detractors with the interspecies mingling and whatnot, but true love will not be denied, my friends. These lovebirds cannot, dare I say will not, be denied.

You be you, Aayla and Stanley. You be you.

PS- Cutest couple ever.

Why? Because I care.

Groundhog Day

A Wicked Smaht Pahk

Facebook Groups

The Death of Mr. Peanut

Baby Nut

Going Away Party

Where It All Began

Old Town Road Showdown

Typical Americans

Loretta

Jimmy Works It Out

Be The One

Take 5

Zero Sugar

Before Alexa

Love Takes Action

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Jason Momoa Gets Comfortable

Next 100

Mama Test

Room For You Too

When We All Come Together

[photo]

Oh hell yes he did. Way back in 2014.

PS- And is anyone else wondering what Jack Terrel did with his life? I need to know.

PPS- Also, Kaitlin Rosetta knew exactly what was up.

Seriously Nepal?

[click map to enlarge]

See, an anchor sinks. In fact, that’s its job.

Well played, Flea. Well played.

We’ve all heard stories of ghosts, paranormal activities, or maybe just weird, unexplainable events. Heck, sometimes it can be as innocuouos as simply losing your car keys. The point is events happen in this world that defy explanation.

I’ve had my fair share of baffling experiences, and I’ve written about some of them on this site. For those interested, just click on any of the links below:

The Man in the Tuxedo

A story about a foggy night, a car wreck and my encounter with an old man in a tuxedo.

The Scariest Christmas

One Christmas morning long ago, somebody or something looked into our front door window. I can still see it today.

A Strange Phone Call

If you have an explanation for this one I’d sure like to hear it.

And I haven’t written about this since it happened over 20-years ago, but I’ll tell you a story now. A few people have heard about it, but not many . . .

It was June of 1996, less than a month after my friend and brother-in-law Jigger had passed away suddenly. We were best friends, took many trips together, and he was even my school principal. When he died it took everyone by surprise and hit us all very hard. Jigger was was married to my sister Karen and we’d all been going to Oak Island, North Carolina on vacation since 1978. Jigger had passed away in late May, but as a family we decided to take our annual trip in June because we knew Jigger would want it that way. For some reason I had to leave the beach a couple days early, so I decided to stop halfway home to rest. I checked into a hotel near Winston-Salem, NC and made it to my room. It was one of those rooms that was actually three rooms, one just inside the door with a little seating area and an extra TV, the other with the bed, and of course the bathroom. There was actually a little area between the rooms with a closet and little bar area for coffee and whatnot. Anyway, I was bushed so I had room service and fell asleep pretty early.

Sometime that night I had the dream. In the dream I woke up in that very hotel room, and I noticed a lamp was on in the other room. I knew I hadn’t left it on because I always leave the bathroom light on and leave that door cracked open a bit. I got out of bed to go turn the lamp off and there, sitting on a chair, was Jigger. I wasn’t scared at all, just surprised. He was wearing khaki pants, a flannel shirt, boat shoes without socks, his trademark Micky Mouse watch, and he was smiling at me. I asked what he was doing there and he proceeded to tell me that I needed to take care of Sis, that she wouldn’t be able to handle his death very well, and that she was going to need me. He also told me to let her know that it was ok to move on, that she had a lot of life left to live. I told him I would, and he stood up, hugged me, and as we let go of the embrace I woke up.

I sat up in bed and immediately walked into the other room, but of course the light was off and nobody was there. Everything was just as I’d left it before I went to bed.

Yes, I know it was just a dream, but it was so vivid. And who dreams about a hotel room they’d just walked into a few hours earlier? The same exact hotel room? To this day I believe that, somehow, Jigger reached out to me that night.

Another incident, which I wrote about in my story entitled Losing Tim, details the day one of my best friends was laid to rest and what happened when I returned home that night.

While thinking about ghosts, paranormal activities and other strange occurrences the other day I had the idea to reach out to my friends on social media and ask this question: What are your stories? Have you experienced unexplained events?

What follows are the stories that were sent to me. I’ve left out full names and used only initials, and in some cases changed the initials entirely if the writer asked me to do so. Enjoy, and pull those covers up tightly tonight . . .

A.F.

I grew up in a haunted house. It was old, built in early 1900s. We found old tin pictures of the house during construction. My sister and I used to hear a little kid crying for us in the middle of the night. Our dog would growl with every hair standing up while staring at our stairs. My grandparents lived on a farm and my papaw had a stroke. While he was in rehab, my grandmother stayed with us. One morning at breakfast, my grandma asked my dad why he had been so dressed up the night before. Confused, he said that he went to bed when she did and hadn’t been up. To this day, she tells of a man wearing a suit and top hat that visited her that night and kissed her softly on the forehead and told her to sleep well. Fast forward about 20 years, my parents were selling their house and moving. My sister and I had our old high school friends over for one last slumber party. We were playing games and taking pictures on our cell phones. My sister started freaking out because she took a picture of me in our rocking chair. Looking at the picture, I was sitting on a tall mans lap and he was wearing a suit and a top hat. We ALL saw the picture that night. We uploaded it to a 1 hour photo place and eventually fell asleep. We woke the next morning and the picture was just of me. No man. We rushed to town to pick up the printed photos and EVERY picture we took that night was blank. My mom would be reading and the touch lamp would turn on and off continuously. She would finally say “pick one, you’re making me dizzy and I’m trying to read” and every time it would stay on!!! After I had my daughter, every picture we took of her in that house she was surrounded by orbs. We lived there about 25 years, so obviously they were kind spirits.

And one more freaky thing that happened. My grandpa passed when I was a junior. I still visit his grave; he was my best friend. When my oldest daughter was about 3 and my youngest 1 they were with me.  My oldest, in a tiny voice said, “Sissy, look at all those beautiful people dancing. They look happy and pretty in white.” We were the only people in that cemetery.

C.M.

I was 11 yrs old and living in Cedarville at the time. 1977 was the year. I’d been told of a friend of mines house being haunted. One day I went home with him after school as I had many times before. We walked to his house. As we walked onto the porch the phone was ringing. We walked in (door was unlocked as always) and the ringing stopped as Randy walked towards the wall phone in the kitchen. We then heard a thump upstairs and he started calling out for his mom who wasn’t there, which wasn’t unusual. We both walked up the stairs (the only stairs in house) into his mom’s room where the only other phone was in the house. The phone was laying on the floor off the hook. This was way before cell or even cordless phones. Anyone who knows about these type of phones knows with one receiver off the hook the phone rang busy and was impossible for the phone to be ringing when we got there. We’d heard the thump, which had to be the phone hitting the floor. Randy was an only child and nobody else besides his mother lived there. There was no other way besides the stairs (that were in full view of us} to leave the 2nd floor, just an attic hatch in the upstairs hall that couldn’t be reached without a chair or ladder. Needless to say we both ran after realizing what had happened. I never went back inside that house, ever. I played in the yard but never walked in.

M.J.

I remarried 10 years ago, the same year that my mother passed away from a car accident. My husband and I were setting on the front porch the day before the wedding (we already lived together), and we heard my youngest son yelling inside the house and another running through the house. Thinking the boys were just carrying on like boys do, we just shrugged it off. That night I woke to go to the bathroom, and as I stepped out into the hallway I froze. I saw a figure at the other end of the hall. I stood there a couple minutes and it just disappeared. Flash forward a few days. We are sitting at home talking, and I proceeded to tell them about what I saw that night when I woke up. My husband says the hair on his arms stood up, because that very same night he awoke at about 3am and saw a figure standing at the end of our bed. My son then chimed in and said, “Didn’t you hear Logan yelling that day in the house?” I said “Yeah, but I just figured you guys were goofing off.” Adam proceeded to tell me that Logan had been lying in our bedroom and started yelling, so he ran down the hall to check on him. When he got to our room Logan was under the blanket, scared, because he’d seen a figure at the bedroom door and it wouldn’t let him out. I am a believer in paranormal, but also believe many things can be debunked. But this many things happening all within the same 24 hrs to different people within the same house who never spoke of any of it until days later was just too much for me to write off as coincidence. I’ve always believed it was my mother coming to see me on the eve of my wedding, and my husband believed it was his mother who passed away when he was 9 years old.

R.S.

I’m kind of surprised how many people are willing to share there ghost experiences. The ghost I saw used to live in the house next to J.H. I immediately recognized who it was, R.G. (a familiar figure around town who’d passed away). He’d always worn a wide brimmed hat and always carried a basket on his arm and that’s exactly the way he looked, totally unchanged. It was real as real can be. He walked into the bedroom, was about five feet from me, looked at me, turned and walked out. I then heard the back door along with the storm door open and close.

T.T.

There was a picture hanging above the piano in my house growing up in Idaho Falls of a young boy and girl holding hands on the front porch of an older house. Black and white photo. One day I was passing through the living room and glanced at the photo and rather than the kids sitting on the porch there was a portrait of an elderly woman with gray curly hair to the shoulders, staring at me. It was just a glance and by the time I looked back the picture was as normal, just the boy and girl. It was really weird. I still remember her face vividly. Still not sure what to think about it but I’m sure my mind was just playing tricks on me. Fun fact though – we purchased the home and moved in after an elderly widow died in the home.

M.W.

The house we lived in when I was a baby was located where the hospital parking lot in my town is now. They would often find me out of my crib and asleep on the hallway floor. Neither of my older brothers were big enough at the time to get me out and do it. They said there would be times that a man would walk into their closet at night, take his hat off, place it across his chest and just stand there. Dad said he finally told him he was scaring his family and it was time for him to go. He placed the family Bible on a shelf in the closet and the guy never returned.

The house I grew up in had a lady that we all saw several times. She would be seen walking up the stairs or just appear then be gone. My brother Bill swore she hit him and knocked him down the stairs one evening. On another occasion we were in the dining room playing a board game and one of my oldest brother’s friend was sitting beside me. We both looked up at the same time to see her looking at us. Without even looking toward the stairs my brother said “You just saw her didn’t you.” That guy didn’t come back in the house for a week.

Several years later after mom and dad had divorced, my youngest brother found a locket with a lady’s picture it and gave it to mom. When her then boyfriend opened it he threw it across the room and said “that’s her.” Mom asked who and he said the woman that lives in this house. We didn’t know that he’d ever seen her.

J.I.

I have seen some unexplained things in the past but won’t say for sure I have seen a ghost. My son on the other hand came out of his bedroom one night when we lived on near Bourneville and said that he was worried about the black guy holding a gun that was standing out side of his bedroom door (his bedroom was the last door on the left just for reference). Naturally I got up to see what he was talking about. No black guy. He told me I probably wouldn’t see him but he was there every night. Commence the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. The more I asked about him the more intrigued I got. He was 4-5 at the time and told me the guy was there every night for as long as he could remember. He only showed up when it was dark and would be gone if he got up in the night. He told me that he was always holding a gun and it was like he was watching over him or guarding him. Maybe even like an old man or something. I don’t know how he got the old man thing since by “black man”, he meant like a silhouette. Small back story, I had to “install” a switch in my son’s room that would turn on a “forcefield” to not let the monsters and bad things into the house. He told me that he had even tried to flip the switch a couple times in the beginning to see if it would make the guy go away, but it did not. He said he was never afraid of the guy because he seemed like he was there to help or protect him. When he would happen to mention him again I would go check and see if I could see what he was seeing, like a shadow or something. Nothing. I even laid in bed one time with him and waited a while, at one point he said the creepiest words I have ever heard – “There he is”. Holy shit man, there wasn’t a damn thing in that hallway, not even a shadow. I have only one conclusion for this story and that it was my grandpa looking over him. Never the less it’s a creepy, yet interesting, story.

J.B.

I have seen what’s called (after researching a bit) ectoplasm just weeks after my wife’s sister passed from a car accident. Later that morning my wife saw it also. I told her I saw something earlier that morning when I was up for work and she guessed a ghost. Two different areas of the house at two different times of the morning. Neither of us saw it again.

M.K.

I have only told my mom and dad this story but I had a dream one night that I was at my Grandma’s funeral. The only people I recognized were my mom and dad and a couple other people but I knew it was a funeral for my grandma. She’s fallen in the bathtub and she was losing her memory every day up until the end. Anyway, to finish the story I woke up and walked out into the living room and my mom and dad were both out there and they asked me why I was up. I told them I had a weird dream that Grandma died and I was at her funeral. They told me that they’d been called and told that she’d died about 15 minutes before I walked into the room.

Here’s another one. I went to Mansfield Reformatory for a private ghost hunt. There were only 40 or so people there instead of the usual 100 or so they get during a regular ghost hunt. Before it started we took a tour of the place and as it started to get later in the day, the overall mood of the place changed. It was like the energy flipped. We walked through the old part of the building where the old wardens and their families stayed and a couple of the rooms were used for the movie Shawshank Redemption. We moved to a big hallway and I was leaning against the doorway that led down to another part of the wing. As the woman was explaining about the history I heard the sound of what I can describe as somebody who is starting to cook/bake and is searching for pots and pans. I can distinctly hear pots and pans being shuffled around. Strange thing is, with a couple people around me, they didnt hear it. About a minute later I hear it again and its louder than the first time. I turn around and look behind me to see if it was maybe a staff member still walking around before they shut the doors for the night but there’s nobody there. But, a woman who was leaning in the same place I was and on the opposite side of the doorway leans over and asks “Did you hear that?” I told her yes and I asked her what she heard and she told me that she heard metal like pots and pans being moved around. I told her I heard the same thing and when we asked others in front of us if they heard it, they all said no. Now here is the creepy part. The guide takes us down the hallway to where the noises we heard came from. She goes on to explain that there used to be a kitchen where the warden’s wife would cook and bake cakes for his friends and family. The kicker is, there were no pots and pans there in that room. It was completely empty.

J.N.

In the old farm house where I was raised there definitely was a spirit in the upstairs. I was the only one who could feel it, the hair on my neck would raise up and I couldn’t breathe. I could never slept up there. Supposedly the people who built the original house kept their special needs son up there.

W.H.

My husband and I have both sited a man walking hurriedly, swinging his arms, dark brown hair, and he just suddenly disappears. Also a customer that I knew from where I work stopped one day and told me about seeing him just above us on the road. So there are 3 of us who has seen him, I have seen him twice, my husband once and not at the same time. Also about 3 months ago my husband was awakened in the middle of the night by a little girl singing in our dining room. He went to investigate but when he rounded a corner the singing stopped. Many years ago I was visited by a young spirit when I was upstairs cleaning. I just raised up from vacuuming and there she was, studying me. Dark shoulder length hair, noticeable blue eyes, dressed in blue. Then she disappeared. I later told an older friend of mine about it as she grew up here. By my description she thought it was her younger sister who passed from Bright’s disease here in the house. We are not afraid, nothing has been threatening.

So far.

 

M.J.

My brother in law died suddenly on 1/7/1995. He was 46. On 1/21/95, I woke up in the morning and got up to go to the restroom and as I turned the corner there he stood. He looked alive and smelled like patchouli, the type of incense he used to burn. I asked him why he was there and he said my sister (his wife) would not talk to him. I said Rob, you passed away! He looked at me like I was crazy. Then my damn phone rang and he just kind of popped out. I was disturbed because he was trying to contact my sister and he didn’t know he was dead. I went to a tarot cars reader and she said we need to get him to the light because he is stuck. The dark side wants him because he was such a spiritual good guy. She told me to use a special oil that was made for his star sign, Libra, pour it on top of white candles and tell him to go to the light over and over. Then tell him my sister didn’t know he was trying to contact her, that she and his daughter love him and he now can go. We did that, and that very evening and we took three of his little cast iron airplanes he collected and pointed them to the candle. That was at 10pm. At 5:00 am my sister called me screaming and crying that the planes moved past the candle. He had gone to the light and used the planes to let us know. My sister told me she kept feeling him touching her shoulder and she was scared. She never felt that again.

K.W.

I prefer to call it an angel. It wasn’t the worst of my wrecks but in college, 1996, I was driving to school and ran off the side of the road slightly, overcompensated and went off the opposite side of the road. I ended up rolling my car about three times and landed on the side of my car off the side of the road in a swampy, muddy area. It was over a bank so one couldn’t directly see me and my car from the road. It was before the days of cell phones in every car so I didn’t have one.

I remember everything very vividly, rolling and seeing the car crunch around me, putting my hands up to hold myself off the top of the car, and once I stopped, panicking that I couldn’t get out and thinking no one would see me and I’d be stuck in there. I was kicking and pushing the door in an attempt to get out but it wouldn’t open because it was pushing into the mud and the car was slightly still with the driver’s side down.

I then noticed a lady walking down from the road area. She had a long dress on and glasses, I think. I simply remember thinking that I hated she was going to get her dress all messed up. I yelled to her so she would know I was stuck in there and couldn’t get out. I remember I could just fit my hand out of the top of the door because that was the farthest that it would open.

She didn’t say a word that I remember, she just walked down to me and very simply moved the door. I remember thinking for a split second that it seemed unusually easy for her to open after I had been struggling and kicking to move it.

The next thing I remember I was standing on the road. At this time a car had pulled over and had one of those “bag cell phones” and offered to call the ambulance and asked who I needed to call. I called my daddy. BF came on the squad from Waverly, I think, and several people stopped in what seems like a few quick seconds before my dad arrived from Richmond Dale. The fire squad had arrived by then and a EMT kindly offered to get anything out of my car that I may have needed before they towed my car.

I told him I desperately needed a school project that was due that had been on my front passenger seat.
He went back and forth several times, getting pieces and parts, reports, poster boards, until he got everything. He brought the last thing up to me on the road and handed it to me. He was covered head to toe in thick, wet mud from the swamp my car was sitting in the middle of.

He looked at me confused and asked how I had managed to get out of there without any mud on me?
It was the first time it dawned on me. I looked down at my completely clean clothes, even down to my shoes that didn’t have even a small speck on mud on them.

At that time my dad asked how I got out of the car. I just replied that a woman in a long dress had helped me out. He asked me to identify her from the people at the scene and she was nowhere to be found . . .

A.J.

My brother and I lived in an old house that was built in 1929. We were about 5 or 6 years old, maybe 6 and 7. Mom and Dad were downstairs watching TV in the living room. Aside from us four, our baby sister was sleeping in the nursery. I was in the lower bunk, my brother in the top, and by sitting up on your back you could see out into the hallway. If you entered the hallway from our bedroom, immediately to your right was the doorway to the bathroom. My brother and I were both looking out into the hallway when we saw a black, hunched over being pass in front of our room and into the restroom. Facial figures or arms and legs weren’t visible. It was just black. We were both a little freaked out, but thought it might have been our mom. We were old enough to not instantly think otherworldly. Not wanting to confirm it was our mom by entering the bathroom, we went downstairs and into the living room. That was almost freakier as both Mom and Dad were sitting on the couch downstairs. They obviously checked out the bathroom but found nothing. My brother and I can still describe the image the same way to this day. It was also in this same house that our dog had the horror movie classic scene of barking over my sister’s crib one afternoon. My mom rushed into the room to check and grab the baby as the dog continued to look at the ceiling above the baby’s crib. I am not making any of this up. I am a very logical person, but that house was haunted and there were obvious signs of spirits/ghosts.

R.N.

As a kid we lived in in a house on Mountain Street in Bainbridge, Ohio. I guess at some point in time a fellow named Clyde Beatty had lived there. I learned later he’d been a world famous animal trainer. The house was built over a small graveyard. We had gotten this information from a fella named CD so we found it to be credible. But anyway needless to say there were numerous times seeing ghosts in that house. And not to mention a number of strange things that have happened during the time we lived there as well.

K.W.

Ghost is such a relative term to me. I’ve seen such strange things- more like undeniable coincidences. Other times I write it off to active imagination. I just lost my Dad on a Thursday morning. I was sitting on Cleveland Avenue while getting a message that Mom and Mil were watching over me (both also passed away).That exact moment a white hearse coasts by my car with its blinkers on, but no procession. A few seconds later an identical white hearse passed by. Gave me the willies. I have tons of stories like that.

P.P.

I have seen some things I can’t explain. I saw a perfect shadow of a person walking towards my car once. There was no one around or a near enough light source to create a shadow. Plus, as it walked through the shadow of my car, it didn’t disappear or become harder to see. It was unsettling to say the least.

K.C. 

I was staying with my Great Grandma and was staying in the room my uncle had died in 15+ years before. I got an overwhelming familiar smell, turned over to see a very large white blur in the corner and it looked just like my uncle.

R.S. 

When I first saw one I tried to rationalize what I was seeing, I thought it was my imagination. But the dog I had at the time confirmed it was real. The dog, who always slept on the floor on my side of the bed, was what woke me. She was scared, really scared. Then she crawled under the bed, which she never did. After the ghostly figure left she came out from under the bed but remained restless as I did as well, the rest of the night.

B.K.

I know I’ve seen an Orb. When I was little we were staying at Grandma’s and sometime in the night I noticed something floating up the stairway and hover over the foot of the bed. When I focused on it, it went real fast back down the stairway. It reminded me of one of those large size soap bubbles.

Another time I was on night watch at school overnight so seniors wouldn’t prank. At around 2am I made my rounds through the school to check on things. Since it was graduation weekend all the chairs were set up in the gym and on the stage. The lights were on in the gym and on the stage . I decided to go up on the stage and I entered from the right side entry. As I walked onto the stage I saw a figure that appeared to be walking across the stage. It took three steps toward the podium then vanished. It was wearing what appeared to be a light blue or blue blazer. When I told this story to others, I was told that I saw the ghost of Jigger, out former principal who had passed away years earlier. I was told he wore a blue blazer.

A.H.

Oh buddy you’re going to love this. It was one of my boyfriend’s and mine first few nights in our apartment and it was pretty late at night. He was fast asleep next to me and I was struggling to fall asleep. So it finally happened. I sleep really weird. I have to sleep with a pillow over my ears because it’s like a comfort thing? So anyway, I’m asleep and it’s like something decided to wake me up (at least I thought I was awake). It was almost like a blur, but someone was crouched down in front of me just staring at me. I then fell back asleep. It was almost like I acknowledged what was happening but was way too tired to care. Some time goes by and I’m in a new sleeping position and my eyes are closed but I am full on having a conversation in my head with this Victorian women. She was telling me how she hated what we did with the place “aka the apartment” and was mad at me. I just kept tossing and turning thinking I’m losing my mind. I finally fell asleep and told my boyfriend all about it the next morning. Needless to say we ended up using sage on the apartment and I’ve only had like one more weird experience after that but so far we’re still in the clear. So, yes I believe in ghosts.

M.P.

I had a terrible time dealing with my granddad’s death and could not get through a day without crying. One night I was dreaming about him and I woke up feeling such a chill in the room and something touched my foot. I heard him saying “It’s okay Sissy” at the same time I saw him at the foot of my bed. I stopped crying after that night. I still tear up when I think about him but I don’t cry like I used to. He was my hero. I would love to sit and talk with him again.

S.G.

I live in a old farm house, built in 1903. It has pretty stairs and servant stairs. I was cleaning in the front upstairs and heard with out a doubt footsteps coming up the stairs. I was skeptical, but nobody but me was home. Another time I kept hearing a girl’s voice saying “Mommy.” My daughter’s room was upstairs, but I couldn’t figure out why she’d be saying it. Mind you this is a big house, she coulda called or texted, so I hurriedly go to her room and she’s sitting on her bed on the laptop, headphones in and doing homework. She looked as surprised as I did. It wasn’t her. I later found out by talking to a gentleman that lived here in the 50’s that his young sister passed away in this house.

Another time I came home to find that my sweet sweet dogs had gotten into a whole bag of flour and my entire kitchen looked as if it has snowed. I’ll send a pic of one of their flour covered faces. Anyway, I had a little tantrum, threatened them with the pound and such, then the light in the kitchen went out. It’s a ceiling fan, you have to pull the string to turn it off. I calmed down, then the light came back on. I pulled the string a few times and it worked just fine. I’ve also felt cold spots and seen blurs. I’ve had things come up missing, like stuff you just don’t lose.

S.H.

When I was in high school an old friend of mine and I drove out to Elizabeth’s grave (a famous local haunted spot) to smoke some pot. It was in the middle of the summer and hotter than hell. We had all the windows down. Middle of the day. About half way thru, we heard a couple of men talking and could hear their footsteps close by in the gravel. We both freaked and started the car the leave so we wouldn’t be caught. Looked all around, and there was no one. Not a soul in sight. We both doubted what we had heard and thought maybe we were imagining it, but that would be impossible to hear the same thing at the same time. We split. Now, I’ve never had any kind of pot cause hallucinations before, so it was either real or some really good pot. Have never been back since.

C.W.

When we lived outside of Hillsboro my was 4-5 years old and he could never sleep in his room. He kept saying there were people in his room and they wouldn’t quit talking and let him sleep. After 3 years of this we moved back home to Bainbridge and found out after some research that we’d been living on an indian burial ground. It was the most eerie thing, hearing your child speak this way at such a young age.
So those are the stories I’ve received so far. If you have anything to add message me and I’ll update! Sleep well my friends . . .

Wait. What? This is according to Google searches over the past week.

Looks like a work of art, man.

So I was perusing a website called Terribly Terrier today and found an article entitled Jack Russell Terrier: The Adrenaline Junkie of the Dog World. It contained info and facts about Jack Russell Terriers, so of course I couldn’t help but see if Sparky fit the stereotype. Let’s take a look . . .

If you’ve never heard of a terrier who can jump 5-foot fences, spend hours tenaciously pursuing a rodent, and keep the whole family continually entertained with its antics, then you don’t know Jack.

The Jack Russell Terrier is arguably the epitome of terrier-ness, possessing in spades all the traits that make terriers what they are.

Jacks were originally bred to hunt foxes in England in the late 1700s. But like other terriers who started as hunting dogs, they have more recently leveraged their intelligence, charm, and scruffy good looks to become beloved household pets.

Jumping 5-foot fences? Check. Keeping me entertained with his antics? Check. Intelligence, charm and scruffy good looks? Yep. That’s my Spark.

Jacks are feisty, funny, affectionate, loyal, smart… and entirely too much for many people to handle.

My Sparky is all of those things and more. In fact, I know for a fact that my little dude is smarter than many of my former 5th graders and more loyal than most of my friends. Affectionate? You tell me.

The Spark, as we speak.

These active pups need lots of daily activity. They a chance to burn off their excess energy in positive ways.

Hence my hikes and trips to the cemetary and soccer fields. Dude loves to run.

Jacks are generally good-natured, especially toward members of their own pack. However, they’re not afraid to mix it up with other dogs – even dogs that are several times bigger than them.

Gee, ya think? Sparky has not only scrapped with dogs several sizes larger than him, he’s had scrapes with possums (it bolted after a quick scuffle, didn’t play dead), nutrias (OBX critter), raccoons (thankfully he didn’t get bitten), stingrays (seriously, in the shallow surf), geese (it attacked first, bad decision), buzzards (it was eating something in a field and Spark took offense), skunks (somehow he didn’t get skunked), snakes (it lunged and was dead in about 3-seconds), and yes, coyotes (he won). Click on that link for the story. We won’t mention chickens due to the Statute of Limitations.

Jack Russells love to dig. If you have a garden that’s precious to you, you might want to consider another breed.

Well, Sparky once spent nearly an hour at my Mom’s digging and trying to get to some sort of critter. He’d still be there if I hadn’t bribed him with a Chicken McNugget.

Some pooches just aren’t cut out for social hour at the dog park, and that includes a lot of Jack Russell Terriers. If they aren’t acquainted with other dogs thay may show aggression. 

Mmmmm . . . yeah. I shall plead the 5th on this one.

Unfortunately, because a lot of people get Jack Russells without realizing how much attention they need, you can also find a lot of these dogs surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations. If you’re up to the challenge of owning a Jack Russell, consider adopting an adult dog that needs a home.

First off, anyone who surrenders a dog to a shelter should be beaten about the head and shoulders with an 18-inch Nylabone Big Chew Toy Bone. Secondly, sure Jacks are a bit of a challenge. They’re energetic and need attention. However, if you want a loyal, affectionate, intelligent, charming and funny companion, Jack Russells are the way to go.

Seriously, rescue a Jack Russell. Sparky coming into my life is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Basketball rules have changed a lot over the years, even some dramatic ones in the last 30-years or so. Some of these might just surprise you . . .

1900-1901

A dribbler may not shoot for a field goal and may dribble only once, and then with two hands.
Wait. What? What does that even mean?

1908-1909

A dribbler is permitted to shoot. The dribble is defined as the “continuous passage of the ball,” making the double dribble illegal.
Great that they finally allowed the dribblers to shoot, man.

1910-1911

No coaching is allowed during the progress of the game by anybody connected with either team. A warning is given for the first violation and a free throw is awarded after that.
Hear that? NO COACHING ALLOWED. So strange. Then again, maybe they were onto something.

1921-1922

Running with the ball was changed from a foul to a violation.
If traveling was a foul James Harden would be out of games very early.

1923-1924

The player fouled must shoot his own free throws. Before this rule, one person usually shot all the free throws for a team.
Designated free throw shooters, man. Steve Nash would have averaged 50 a game.

1937-1938

The center jump after every made basket is eliminated.
Yes kids, before this rule was changed there was a jump ball after every basket.

1939-1940

Teams have the option of taking a free throw or taking the ball at mid-court.
This would actually lead to some intersting strategy.

1944-1945

Defensive goal tending is banned.

I’m guessing the advancement of player athleticism led to this rule.

1944-1945

Offensive players cannot stand in the free throw lane for more than 3 seconds.
Good rule. Congestion on the court is not a good thing.

1948-1949

Coaches are allowed to speak to players during a timeout.
And thus the modern basketball coach was born.

1956-1957

The free throw lane is increased from 6 feet to 12 feet.
Look at that old 6-foot lane. So damn small.

1956-1957

Grasping the rim is rule unsportsmanlike conduct.
Players be jumpin’ higher!

1967-1968

The dunk is made illegal during the game and during warmup.
Ah, the famous Lew Alcindor rule.

1972-1973

An official can charge a technical foul on a player for unsportsmanlike conduct if the official deems the player ‘flopped’ to get a charging call.
Aaaand flopping is still not called today.
1972-1973
Freshman are now eligible to play varsity basketball.
This is why Alcindor’s UCLA freshman team used to beat the hell of of the varsity all the time.

1973-1974

Officials can now penalize players away from the ball for fouls for acts such as holding, grabbing and illegal screens.
Great rule and hard to believe it took this long to add it.

1976-1977

The dunk is made legal again.
And a nation rejoiced!

1981-1982

The jump ball is eliminated except for the start of the first and second half, and overtime if necessary. An alternating arrow will indicate possession of the ball in jump-ball situations in a game.
And the Possession Arrow was born.

1985-1986

The 45 second shot clock is introduced.
The shot clock is coming to high school basketball as well . . . soon.

1985-1986

If a shooter is intentionally fouled and the basket is missed, the shooter will get two free throws and the team will get possession of the ball.
Hard to fathom that I was coaching before the addition of the intentional foul.

1986-1987

A three point shot was introduced at 19’9″.
And everything began to change . . .
1989-1990
Three free throws are awarded when a shooter is fouled from three point range and misses the shot.
Oddly enough, for a couple years after the advent of the 3-point shot you only got 2 free throws if fouled while shooting it. Dumb.

1993-1994

The shot clock is reduced from 45 seconds to 35 seconds.
Will it get shorter?

1997-1998

Timeouts can be made be players on the court or the head coach.
Seems odd now, but before this coaches could not call timeouts. You had to yell for your players to do it.

So yeah, the game has changed. A lot. I wonder what it will look like in 50-years?

Nope. Not that Moses. There’s another one.

It all started way back in 1983, when my my brother-in-law and great friend Jigger asked me to coach the 7th grade basketball team at Paint Valley. Jigger had coached high school basketball at Bishop Flaget in the early 70s, and since this was my very first coaching job he gave me some old books about coaching.

Now, when I say old I mean old, like 1940s old. They were so old in fact that I put them on the shelf, only occasionally glancing through them. I mean, what could I possibly learn from a book that was written when coaches weren’t allowed to talk to their teams during timeouts?*

*Dead serious. Coaches weren’t allowed to do this until the 1948-49 season. Look it up. 

Anyway, at some point during that first year I coached we needed a baseline out of bounds play (a BLOB – sideline out of bounds is a SLOB) and on a whim I revisited a couple of those books. Low and behold, in one I found a BLOB that looked pretty damn good. It was fairly unique because it was a BLOB that flooded the baseline. At the time everyone played zone defense while defending out-of-bounds plays, although that’s completely changed over the years. Because of this the top guys on the zone weren’t used to coming all the way down to the baseline and by flooding it with your players you could catch your opponent off guard. Here’s the initial setup, as drawn on an idex card by me a million years ago:

When the play started this was the initial movement, although we added wrinkles that I’ll talk about in a bit:

You put your shooters on the blocks, and they would sprint to the corners. We’d put our best shooter on the opposite block because the corner he ran to seemed to be the one that was open the most. The player in the middle was our best post man and the player at the top of the key was usually our point guard. When the post player screened the point guard, the opponent had to either switch or not switch. If they switched the post man would be open and roll straight to the basket. If they didn’t switch the point guard would be open. If defenders sagged to help that action one or both of the corners would be open. Simple but effective, and it was just as efficient against zones as it was against man-to-man.

Over the years we added wrinkles, such as having the players on the blocks cross and go to opposite corners, or moving the two players in the middle to different spots. We also added extra movement if nobody was open, but to be honest that rarely happened.

I can’t recall what we called the play in its early years, but I do know how the name that stuck came to be. It was in my first year at Paint Valley and of course I was showing it to my players. After explaining how it worked I asked the team what they wanted to name it, and my all-league point guard Todd Shoemaker said something like this:

“Everybody parts like the Red Sea and I go right down the middle. Let’s call it Moses.”

And so it came to pass.

I’ve had a lot of former players become coaches, guys like the aforementioned Todd, Craig Kerns, Josh Case, Clay Archer and others. Many of them have used it and used it effectively. Hey, my team from Montserrat has used it as well.

Not only that, and I won’t name names but college coaches have watched the play at camps, asked about it, and have used it over the years. I’m talking Division 1, big-time Top 10 college programs. Some even call it Moses. In fact, next time you watch a college game look for the set I showed you on a baseline out of bounds play and see if you can hear the player taking the ball out yell “Moses!”

It happens. True story.

I don’t know how many points my teams scored on Moses over the years but I do know it was a lot. It got to the point where our opponents knew the play, so we disguised it. Anytime we yelled Noah, Abraham, Abel, Adam or any other biblical name it was essentially Moses. In reality though, it didn’t matter if they knew. It was that effective.

Yep, a simple little play I got from a book written in the 1940s is still used today in all levels of basketball. And you know why?

Because it works.

 

Some guy recorded his son making baby noises, figured out the notes he made, and arranged them into “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. Listen at your own risk.