Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

A Taiwanese woman known as the “Bikini Climber,” has tragically died after freezing to death following a fall. GiGi Wu, 36, was embarking on a 25-day hike when she stumbled 65-feet down a ravine in Central Taiwan’s Yushan Mountain, Taiwan News reported. Due to the impact of the fall, Wu sustained injuries to her leg and was unable to move, the outlet reported. Despite her many calls for help, emergency responders were not able to immediately reach her as weather conditions were extremely dangerous. Nearly 28-hours later, Wu was airlifted out but was pronounced dead, officials said, according to local site Liberty News.

Listen, I don’t want anyone to die. That said, some people are begging for it, you know? I mean, climbing mountains while wearing a bikini and then freezing to death has to be the most predictable thing ever, right? Sort of like taking selfies on building ledges and then dying by falling from a great height, that sort of thing. Reminds me of the guy who tried to take a selfie with a crocodile and got eaten. People, man. They’ll apparently do anything for attention, including killing themselves.

 

 

Advertisements

It’s called “The Incident at Dyatlov Pass.” Here’s what went down . . .

On January 28th, 1959, 10-students and graduates of the Ural State Technical University embarked on a hike into Russia’s Ural Mountains. They were all experienced mountaineers, and they expected to reach their destination by February 12th.

One of the hikers, Yury Yudin, got sick early in the trip and had to stay behind. Turns out he was the group’s only survivor as well as one lucky flu victim.

So the group of 9-hikers heads into the woods and never came out. It’s sad, but it’s also one of the risks of wandering in the wilderness, right? The thing is, when they didn’t arrive at the expected time, the search-and-rescue team that was dispatched to find them discovered a terrifying and unexplainable scene that remains a mystery to this day.

First of all, the tent that the nine had shared had apparently been cut open from the inside and was full of the party’s food, warm clothing, and other essentials. The team then discovered five of the missing hikers about a mile from their tent. Two were discovered beside the remains of a campfire, and their hands were severely burned. The other three were discovered fairly close together of about 100-feet away, apparently attempting to return to their destroyed tent.

And get this – all five were found in various states of undress. Some were barefoot, others were wearing only their socks. One of the men, Rustem Slobodin, had a small fracture in his skull, but it was ruled that he had died from exposure, not injury.

The remaining four hikers were found approximately 3-months later. But instead of clarifying the situation, their bodies only made the story weirder. Some of the hikers were wearing clothes that belonged to hikers left at the campfire, indicating that they had scavenged those bodies in order to stay warm in the -30° weather, but all four apparently tumbled into a ravine and died there. These hikers had all suffered chest injuries that doctors compared to a car crash, and another was found to be missing her tongue.

Weird, right? But it gets weirder.

The hikers’ clothing was all strongly radioactive, and other than their severe injuries, there were no obvious signs of struggle or the presence of any other living thing in the area. One of the hikers, Semyon Zolotaryov, had apparently taken the time to grab his camera before fleeing the tent but left his clothing behind. What the hell had he hoped to photograph? And speaking of cameras, another member of the party, Yuri Krivonischenko, had taken a blurry picture of something weird and glowing before the incident.

Oh, and one more thing – the place they all died translates to “Mountain of the Dead.”

Gulp.

So, what could have killed the hikers? In short, nobody knows. There are a few theories that keep coming up, though. One is that they were attacked by someone or something in the woods, but there’s just one problem – the search teams found nine sets of footprints in the snow, one for each of the victims but no others. None made by humans, animals, Yetis, aliens, or otherwise.

So maybe it wasn’t an outsider? Maybe something happened between the hikers that caused them to turn on each other, or caused one to become extremely violent. Except there’s not really any great evidence of that, either. The diaries of the hikers found back in the tent didn’t indicate any kind of rising tension, nor did anyone who knew these nine believe they would have allowed their emotions to interfere in a survival situation. Some nearby residents reported seeing orange lights in the sky, leading some people to theorize UFOs had to be involved, and other slightly more rational minds suggested that they had been the accidental victims of some sort of Soviet weapons test. At least that would explain the radiation I guess? It would also explain why the official Russian investigation into the incident closed almost as quickly as it opened – investigators were satisfied to list “a compelling natural force” as the cause of death, and the region around the area where the incident occurred was closed for 3-years afterwards.

By the way, what exactly is “a compelling natural force”?

Oh, and about that aforementioned Yeti/Sasquatch/Bigfoot, you say? On one of the dead hikers cameras they found a mysterious photo of a man (or something). In any case it has a surreal look to it. Check it out:

Yikes. Fu-reaky.

It’s known as Photo 17, and it was the last photo taken on Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignolle’s camera. Is it human, or something else? Could it be a member of the group coming back from somewhere? Maybe somebody else with sinister intentions? Nobody knows, but damn that’s a weird looking photograph.

So, the questions remain:

  • What frightened the hikers so much that they raced barefoot and half-naked into freezing windy temperatures?
  • What caused the traumatic injuries that doctors compared to those gotten from a car crash?
  • What caused the traces of radiation on the hiker’s clothing?

Anyway, it’s an enduring mystery and one that fascinates the bejesus out of me. Sure, you can find people on the worldwide interweb that claim to explain everything, but they an all go straight to hell because that’s no fun. Bottom line, they ultimately explain nothing.

PS- If you’re as interested in this as I am here’s a bonus, and also chilling, video for y’all. It includes some of the theories I talked about above, as well as some others.

 

I actually attempted two websites before this one and neither really caught on. The first was called Rock Hard Times and was all about music. The second was called The Inside Handshake and stuck exclusively to sports. Then one day it hit me – why limit myself to one subject? Hell, I have opinions and observations on other stuff as well. Why not open it up to everything? Music, sports, politics, science, entertainment, nature, the list was endless. Thus was born Shoe: Untied, a play on my name along with the idea of sort of letting loose (actually a friend of mine came up with the title and I liked it). Anyway, as you know the site turned out to be a pretty eclectic one, and that’s the way my crack staff and I like it.

One thing I discovered early is that you can never, ever predict what people will like. Sometimes I write something I think is great and get very little response. Other times I write something that I feel is sort of trivial and it just blows up (see drunk pig blog below). Like the title says, it defies explanation.

With that said, here is our annual year-end report and Top 25 Most Popular Blogs for 2018. We’ll start with #1 and work our way down. Just click on the title if you want to take a gander.

Australian Pig Steals 18-Beers From Campers, Gets Drunk, Fights Cow

Yes ladies and gentlemen, a short little article I posted along with my observations back in 2014 got over 500,000 views this past year. For you non-mathematicians, that’s over half a million people. Seriously man, it was about a drunk pig. See, a radio station out in Seattle happened upon my site, liked the post, and put a link to that story on its website. Then the Aussies got hold of it and the rest is history.

UPDATE: Drunk Australian Pig That Started Fight With Cow Killed In Car Accident

Aaaand of course the throngs of people who loved the drunken swine story were interested in the tragic update. On a related note, Australians and I have the same exact sense of humor.

My Side of the Story

Nearly 400,000 people from all over the world heard my side of the story, and I’m glad they did.

Sis

I thought losing a basketball job was a tragic experience. I soon learned that, on life’s grand scale, it wasn’t.

My Dad and I

My memories of my father, who we lost just 53-days after my sister.

“Things Most White People Say” List Is Hilarious, Also 100% Correct

Basically just a repost of some funny tweets I’d run across. Good stuff and people liked it.

Incredible Photo of the Day: Gator Catch!

This was another post that the Australians inexplicably enjoyed. A large percentage of its views came from the Land Down Under.

So How Many People Did The Rifleman Actually Kill?

I love the old TV show The Rifleman, so one day I decided to research just how many people Lucas McCain actually killed. The answer? 120. Ol’ Luke murdered 120 people. But hey, they all deserved it so it’s cool.

Scioto Valley Conference Boys Basketball Preview & Predictions

A preview I wrote regarding our local basketball conference. I must say it’s turning out the way I predicted. So far.

The 2017 Ugly Dog Contest Was An Absolute Joke

My critique of the Ugly Dog Contest and its beautiful winner, Martha.

Cool Beans! Words and Phrases That Need To Make A Comeback

Another story I published a couple years that seems to never go away. Just a simple blog about words.

An American Hero: Ruby Bridges

My story about Ruby Bridges, the little 6-year old African-American who integrated an all-white elementary school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960.

Map of the Day: World Rat Distribution

The most fascinating aspect of this map is that Alberta, Canada is rat free, and it’s not by accident.

Regarding Beach Midgets

Just an offbeat, original little story that people seemed to find hilarious.

15 Reasons I Hate LeBron James (Or Used To)

I wrote this after LeBron left Cleveland with his ridiculous television show, “The Decision”. I really did hate the guy for a few years, but he won me back with his letter admitting he’d made a mistake with the way he left, then returning to Cleveland and ultimately bringing them a championship.

Celebrity Mugshots: My Top 10

Another old post that saw a resurgence of sorts in 2018. I’ve no idea why.

Meet Australian Cow Knickers, the Biggest Damn Cow You’ll Ever See

Again, Australians, man.

If You Haven’t heard of August Landmesser It’s a Damn Shame

I’m truly glad people liked this one, and I’m glad I got to spread the word about August Landmesser.

Paint Valley Basketball Records

This is a page I maintain that’s linked to Shoe: Untied. It gets a lot of hits.

Brad Kerns and Parenting the Way It Should Be

A telling story about one of my basketball parents and also one of the best friends I ever had.

The Many Worlds Theory is Wildly Fascinating

A pretty good example of what an eclectic website Shoe: Untied really is.

Map of the Day: USA IQ Test Scores by State

I had a lot I wanted to say here politically bit I couldn’t pull the trigger.

Man Killed Trying to Bring Christianity to Remote Island Tribe

A recent story that was quite controversial. Seems not everyone agreed with my views.

Another Drunk Animal Causes Havoc, and This Time It’s a Sozzled Squirrel.

Who knew drunk animal stories would be so wildly popular? Not I.

Don’t Think Animals Are Scary Smart? Read On.

There’s a certain segment of people who visit my site that can’t get enough of the animal stuff. They just eat it up. Animals, man.

So there ya go. All in all it was the biggest year ever for Shoe: Untied, and I thank the people who visit because you’re obviously as nuts as I am.

Happy New Year everyone.

 

Source – A woman who married the ghost of a 300-year-old pirate claims the couple have split up. Amanda Teague married the Haitian pirate named Jack earlier this year. The wedding to her ‘soulmate’ took place on board a boat in international waters off the Irish coast. However the Irish Mirror reports the couple have called it a day after less than a year. Amanda said: “So I feel it’s time to let everyone know that my marriage is over. “I will explain all in due course but for now all I want to say is be very careful when dabbling in spirituality, it’s not something to mess with.” The split is another blow for Jack, as he was purportedly executed for thieving on the high seas in the 1700s. 

Well I’ll be damned. This one is a shocker, man. If anyone was going to make it I’d have bet the ranch on these two lovebirds. Seemed like a match made in heaven. Or hell, depending on where Jack lives. Seriously though, I was really holding out hope for these two wacky kids. I thought they really had a shot. So damn sad. A loss for all of us really. A loss for love.

PS- Then again, I know it’s pretty common knowledge that the marriage success rate between batshit crazy female lunatics and 16th century poltergeist pirate swashbucklers isn’t good. ‘Twas an uphill battle from the start.

PPS- I tried for 30-minutes to come up with an “Arrrrrr!” or “Ahoy Matey!” joke to put in there but I came up blank. I did have a Poop Deck knee-slapper but couldn’t pull the trigger.

Eh, low odds for the most part. Go nuts.

[click and scroll to view the whole chart]

Newsweek Online: According to scientists, the end of the world may come sooner than we thought due to colliding gravitational waves that would cause the Earth to be sucked into a black hole. 

Gravitational waves are invisible ripples in space which travel at the speed of light. The most powerful of these waves occur when objects move very quickly, for instance when two big stars orbit each other or two black holes orbit one another and merge. Such waves are often compared to the circular ripples which emerge when a stone is dropped in water. However, if a particle or object travels at the speed of light, flat gravitational waves can result. If such an event were to occur, and if the waves were big enough, the subsequent collision would create a black hole with a gravitational field that not even light would be able to escape from it. Literally everything would be sucked into it, including earth.

Well, hell. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Asteroids heading our way, Nazis everywhere, racism running rampant, conspiracy theorists running amok, an orange, nutcase tweeting president who’s inciting civil war if the upcoming elections don’t result in his favor, man it’s getting crazy all up in here. Now we have the possibility of a damn black hole sucking in everything from the Sun to the round (or flat, that’s another issue we’re dealing with) home we call Earth. And hey, we all know if the Earth goes you can kiss Uranus goodbye. That’s just science.

PS- The earth is going to be swallowed up and incinerated when the sun inevitably becomes a giant red star in 5-billion years anyway, so whatevs.

PPS- I’ve said this before but I have no idea how I’d act if they told us we had a week left. I’d like to think I’d go out with class and dignity, but there are a couple folks to whom I might pay a visit. Just sayin’.

PPPS- Uranus jokes never get old.

Once again the Simpson’s have predicted the future.

 

 

 

Military deaths in World War II.

 

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

 

So noted murderer Ray Lewis (allegedly) has stepped up to give his valuable life advice to Colin Kaepernick, the player who exercised his right as an American to not stand up during the National Anthem last football season and hence cannot find another job in the NFL. It seems that Ray-Ray took it upon himself to perform a video selfie directed at Kaepernick, and I must say it is gold, Jerry. GOLD! Here’s a link to the video if you’d like to watch it. However, if you’d rather not I’ll break it down for you . . .

0:00 – 0:11: “How crazy is I’m just leaving set at Fox and I’m getting all these texts and stuff about all this Colin Kaepernick stuff and all this stuff?”

As usual, Ray begins with questionable grammar, leaving out important prepositions like “at” and repeating simple terms such as “stuff.” Oh, and of course we can hear the ass-kisser in the car laughing hysterically at everything he’s saying.

0:11: “Let me explain something to you. I’m gonna keep it real simple with this.” 

This is right out of Ray’s playbook, treating his listeners like dummies, because in order to explain it so we can understand it he has to keep it simple. Wouldn’t want Ray-Ray talking over our heads, now would we?

0:30: “Kap, I pray for you more than you can ever imagine. Your name is in my Bible!”

Wait. What? I’ve read the Bible a few times, once for a class in college, and not once do I recall seeing the words, “Colin Kaepernick.” Then again, Ray is on such good terms with God (he/she allegedly got him out of a murder after all), that perhaps he/she let Ray make some modifications.

0:35: “My brother, everyone else can speak for you but until you speak for yourself and demand what you want to do with your life, it’s totally on you. It’s crazy that you always see people trying to respond.

Uh, OK? He lost me with that last part. And the only crazy person responding is Ray Lewis.

1:00: “I’ve made mistakes in my life. But I promise you if you look at my track record, I’ve never made the same mistake twice.”

Ah, now it’s all about Ray because we knew it would be. And the families of Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting might disagree with the whole “never made the same mistake twice” thing.

1:15: “I’m in the streets everyday. EVERYDAY. So while people talking ‘What’s with this?’ and ‘Why Ray say this?’ and ‘Why Ray say that?’ Ray ain’t saying nothing!”

Boom! Ray is now talking in the third person, another personal trademark. And what does he mean about being in the streets? Maybe he means his driveway, like this one in front of one of his houses:

However, I do agree with him when he says he isn’t saying anything.

1:30: “And that’s why I take each and every one of these kids. And that’s why I take them away from their environments and give them something else to see in life. And that’s why I played the way I played.”

Do the police know Ray Lewis has gone from killing people (allegedly) to stealing children? And what does all this have to do with the way he played?

1:50 – “What you do off the field, don’t let too many people know.”

Finally, Ray Lewis gives out some useful information based on his own personal experience and history. Good Lord.

Seriously, Ray Lewis has to be the most unself-aware human being on planet Earth. Dude lied his way out of a double-murder (allegedly), got a jury to believe he lost the blood-splattered suit he was wearing the night those two men were stabbed to death, has 6-kids by 4-women and still claims to be a Man of God and the counselor to all the poor souls who need his advice.

I can’t believe Fox Sports still employs this clown.

Note: If you need a refresher on the whole Ray Lewis murder thing, here ya go:

So a friend of mine from the Eastern Seaboard told me an amazing story recently about an amusement park in New Jersey that was open from 1978 to 1996. It was called Action Park, and to say this place was dangerous would be an understatement of the highest order. 6-people died at the park in 18-years, and average of 1 every 3 years, and the injuries were in the hundreds if not thousands.

The park is legendary amongst Jersey folk, and people like my friend are proud to say they survived it. In researching the park I came across this quote from a man who attended as a kid:

It was almost like our Vietnam. It was like another step in the quest to manhood. Guys would come back and they’d just have these stories of terror. One kid I knew had a broken ankle — he was on a ride that caught on fire and he had to jump off.”

Good God.

This hellhole was also known as, among other things, “Traction Park” “Accident Park” and “Class Action Park,” and you’ll soon see why. What follows are real stories and tidbits regarding the Death Trap known as Action Park:

In 1979 Action Park opened one of the first wave pools in the country. On its first day open it was estimated over 100 swimmers had to be rescued from the wave pool. Park officials attributed this to a lack of experience in the pool by park goers, because of course they did. A staff of 12 Red Cross certified lifeguards were on duty at all times, and numbers as high as 30 saves per lifeguard per day were recorded. Tragically there were 3 confirmed deaths in the wave pool.

In 1985 the park opened a slide called The Cannonball Loop. Take a look at this monster:

Kid looked like he was going about 80-mph.

 

Remember that this is a slippery slide, not a coaster. Kids went through this without safety gear. Sweet Jesus that looks dangerous. Also fun. And get this – during testing of the Cannonball Loop dummies were sent down and they were decapitated. The attraction was adjusted until the dummies came through with heads intact and then park employees were offered $100 to test it out themselves. Thankfully, no one died on this monstrosity but some people did become stuck. Before it was finally closed for good a trap door was installed into the loop to retrieve riders that became stuck in the top of the loop. The first summer it opened it had 110 reported injuries, including 30-fractures and 45-head injuries. Good times!

At one point they opened up a skate park in Action Park. It was open for only one summer season before they deemed it too dangerous and it was shut down. They were so scared that people would use it after hours that they plowed over it with dirt and set up a picnic area on top of it. Dangerous indeed.

The infamous Cliff Dive was very cold, and also very deep. Legend has it that the bottom of the 40-foot pool had to be repainted white one summer because lifeguards were unable to see drowning swimmers against the black floor. Insanity, man. Check it out:

It’s a fact that 911 calls were so frequent at Action Park (an estimated 5-10 trips per day) that the owner of the park purchased additional ambulances for the township of Vernon, NJ. Hey, that’s a civic-minded man right there.

Shockingly but not really, Action Park had some difficulty in retaining their insurers. Since they could not legally operate without insurance they set up their own fake company in the Cayman Islands. Owner Eugene Mulvihill pleaded guilty to setting up the company, copped a plea, got 3-years probation, and paid $300,000 in fines. He was supposed to sell the resort but, incredibly, he never did.

One of the biggest problems at Action Park was its employees. Legally you needed to be 16-years old to operate a ride in New Jersey, which already seems a tad young. However, Action Park had many employees as young as 14-years old. That’s not the most amazing fact I read though – it seems it was not uncommon for operators of all ages to be on duty with cans of beer in their hands. What could possibly go wrong, man?

Employees would often use park attractions after hours, and believe it or not they didn’t always operate them properly. One thing they would do was shove tennis balls into the speed governors of the cars at their Motorworld Speedway, a section of Action Park. The governors were designed to limit the speed of the vehicle to 20-mph, but after the tampering they could reach speeds as high as 50-mph. Of course, sometimes they’d forget (or not) and leave the tennis balls in, then sit back and watch the hilarity that ensued as an 8-year old kid drove a miniature car 50-mph around a little track. Oh, and by the way, without a helmet.

Helmets schmelmets.

One of the parks biggest and most dangerous attractions was the notorious Alpine Slide. The slide was a sloped and swerving cart ride. The track was built out of fiber glass, and riders would roll down in flimsy carts with no protection, using a defective handbrake as their only means of control. Riders would often get scrapes and burns on the fiberglass. In fact, friction burns were so common that paramedics would be waiting at the bottom of the slide. And burns were not the only danger – despite the crack team of underage and possibly drunk park employees manning the ride, slow riders were often in danger of being rammed from behind by the next set of riders. Unsurprisingly, Action Park’s first recorded death occurred when an after hours park employee flew off of the Alpine Slide and hit his head on a rock, killing him instantly.

Weee! Uh-oh.

One of the reasons Action Park stayed open was because they actually had an on-site infirmary. Unless you had a broken bone you wouldn’t go to the hospital and your injuries wouldn’t be reported. That’s either ingenious or insane, but probably a combination of both.

Here’s a good tidbit. In 1982, owner Mulvihill told a New Jersey newspaper that his park is “gonna be better than Disney World!” That same year a 15-year-old drowned in the Wave Pool and a week later a 27-year-old was electrocuted on a ride called the Kayak Experience. True story.

What can I say, man? We were tougher back then I guess? Seriously, I talk about the Wussification of America more than anyone but Good God this place was wild, insane and all sorts of crazy.

In other words, just the kind of place my friends and I would’ve loved.

Too sad.

Dolls, death and little kids. Chilling, man.

ZimbabweA pastor has been killed after he was eaten by three crocodiles while trying to walk on water, it has been claimed. Jonathan Mthethwa was trying to show his congregation how Jesus walked on water by crossing what is locally known as Crocodile River on foot, according to local reports.

However, he did not make it across the river in Zimbabwe.

The pastor, from the Saint of the Last Days church, managed to get around 90-ft into the river, the paper reported, before trying to climb onto the surface of the river.

Eyewitness Deacon Nkosi told Zimbabwe Today: ‘The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week. He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by three large crocodiles in front of us. We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week. They finished him in a couple of minutes. All that was left of him when they finished eating him is a pair of sandals and his underwear floating above the water.”

First off, I’m trying hard as hell not to laugh at the fact that the gators passed on eating the underwear, I really am. But can you believe the gators passed on eating the underwear? Gators, man. Even they have their limits. But seriously, Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa, I’ve always questioned this line of thinking where faith is concerned. “Hey, let’s really push God to the limit! I’m going to grab this rattlesnake to prove I have faith! The Lord will save me!” Well, maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll just wonder why you didn’t use the common sense he gave you as he watches you die a painful death from internal hemorrhaging. I mean, God helps those who help themselves, amirite?

Note: This reminds me of the old story about the man who was in his house as flood waters rose outside his door. A guy in a boat came by and offered to help, but the man said, “No thanks, God will provide help for me.” As the water rose, two more men in boats came by and were told the same thing. Eventually the man drowned, and when he stood at the pearly gates  he had this conversation with God:

Man: “I believed in you and had faith you would help me. Why did you forsake me?”

God: “I sent three boats for you. What else did you expect, man?”

(Source)A psychic fatally stabbed himself in the heart while trying to prove his immortality. Clairvoyant Theprit Palee, 25, was performing a folk ritual to honour ancestral spirits when he tried to impress spectators by pressing a sword into his chest in a bid to appear superhuman. But tragedy struck when he accidentally plunged the blade into himself. Horrified onlookers watched on as crowds of rescuers attempted to revive him but he later died at hospital.

Man, tough look for Theprit Palee, huh? There’s nothing worse than killing yourself while trying to prove your immortality. That really blows. Kinda shows you how the ol’ ancestral spirits feel about Theprit, amirite? Yikes. And shouldn’t a psychic have seen this coming? Do your job, psychic.

You all know my love for the old TV series The Rifleman. Lucas McCain fights for all that is righteous, man. On a whim I decided to research how many bad guys Lucas killed in the 4 1/2 year duration of the show. The answer? 120. That’s 2.5 per episode. And of course, somebody documented them all in the video below. Yikes! Other Rifleman fun facts:

Chuck Conners, who played The Rifleman, played both professional baseball and basketball.

Johnny Crawford, who played the son of his widowed father Lucas in the show, began his career as a Mouseketeer.

Finally, I owned the Rifleman toy as a kid. Thanks Mom and Dad! 

Anyway, check out all of The Rifleman’s kills. Wild stuff.

assassin

Kim Jong-nam wrote to Kim Jong-un in 2012 asking his half-brother and the recently anointed dictator of North Korea to spare his life and that of his family, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service revealed on Wednesday.

It comes as new pictures of a woman alleged to have been linked to the assassination team that killed the older brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Kuala Lumpur have been released by Malaysian media.

Kim Jong-nam, 45, died on Monday after collapsing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport while waiting to board a flight back to Macau, where he was living in exile.

Listen, I’ve never been a big fan or murder and stuff but any assassin who pulls off a stone cold assassination in the middle of an airport while wearing a sweatshirt with “LOL” on the front has my instant respect. It’s like “LOL, I just killed a guy.” That’s just diabolical, man. Plus she looks sort of cute, so she gets extra points there too.

PS- Is it too late for me to start being more empathetic? Probably is, right? Never mind.

PSS- Not many blogs add the tags “Death”, “Humor”, and “Things I Love” onto their stories all at once. That’s what separates me from your average blogger. On a related note, if you’re a regular reader you’re as weird as I am.

So some dude named Leslie Ray “Popeye” Charping passed away recently and obituary-texas-fatherhis daughter was left in charge of writing his obituary. Turns out she wasn’t a fan . . .

“Leslie Ray ‘Popeye’ Charping was born in Galveston on November 20, 1942 and passed away January 30, 2017, which was 29-years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved.”

“At a young age, Leslie quickly became a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive. Leslie enlisted to serve in the Navy, but not so much in a brave and patriotic way but more as part of a plea deal to escape sentencing on criminal charges.”

“Leslie’s hobbies included being abusive to his family, expediting trips to heaven for the beloved family pets and fishing, which he was less skilled with than the previously mentioned. Leslie’s life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides his quick witted sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days.”

“With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend.”

Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.”

Wow. I’d have no words if I wasn’t a famous quick-witted blogger. That’s just brutal. I take it daughter was left out of the will? And why did she say he lived 29-years longer than expected? Why did she expect him to die in 1988? I’m confused and I need more information, damn it. Anyhoo, ol’ Popeye is accused here of the Triple Crown of asshattery – drinking, drugs, and womanizing. Thank God I can only be accused of three one of those. But honestly, who hasn’t joined the armed forces to escape criminal charges? Don’t most judges sort of give you that as an option? That’s what I thought.

But hey, at least she gave him credit for being amusing during his sober days, so there’s that. Still, a brutal obit. Just brutal.

Note to self: Write own obituary post haste.

whatdidijustread

Here we have some badass American WWII pilots posing for a casual photo. Wait. Is that a skull? Yes, a Japanese skull.  It was common practice for American soldiers to take body parts as “war souvenirs” and “war trophies”. Teeth and skulls were the most commonly taken, although other body parts were also collected. Yeah, you don’t wanna know. Anyway, look at the youthful, vibrant faces of the All-American boys. Juxtapose that with a dead man’s skull with a helmet on it and you have quite the stunning visual.

japenese_skull_1944

Here’s an example of what made her great.

960

Neoplasms are tumors, but you knew that already.

[click to enlarge]

mapneo

Losing Tim

Posted: September 27, 2016 in Death, Inspiration, Life
Tags:

Today marks 19-years since I lost one of my best friends, Tim.TimBeckMike

I first met him when I was in high school. I played basketball at Paint Valley and he played for Bishop Flaget. Honestly? At first I hated the guy. If you think trash talking began in the 90’s you’d be mistaken. Tim had it down to a fine art in 1974.

It was one of those deals where you wanted to be mad at the him but it was difficult because you were too busy laughing at him.  Bottom line though, we respected each other.

As time went by we found ourselves running into each other more and more. We both worked at a State Park in the summer, doing odd jobs around the lake like mowing, picking up trash and cleaning bathrooms. It gave us a lot of time to talk about life, sports, politics, and most importantly, music.

Beatles music.

Tim is the only person who I ever felt appreciated the Beatles as much as I did. We’d talk for hours about them, arguing about song lyrics or album covers, the relevance of certain songs, who was the most talented Beatle. I was always a Lennon guy, he leaned towards McCartney. We used to argue about which was the greatest Beatle album. He always said it was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I always argued for Abbey Road.  We could never come to an agreement on that one, arguing for hours on end over which was the greatest album.

I remember once when he came up with the idea that he and I should do a radio show. We sat down and had it all planned out. The format, ideas for different shows, everything. It was to be a 3-hour show from 10-1 on Saturday night. We were going to argue about music and different songs, compare cover versions of songs, play Beatles stuff backwards, point out songs that were clearly rip-offs of earlier tunes, we had it all figured out.

Tim knew everyone in town, so it was no problem to arrange a meeting with the head of the local radio station. The only problem was, when we met with the guy he’d already asked around about us. Turns out there was zero chance this guy was going to unleash us on the unsuspecting masses. We even told him we’d make a demo tape for him, but in the end we had no chance.

Seems our reputations had preceded us, damn it.

Tim was honest to a fault. If you didn’t want to hear the truth he wasn’t a guy you wanted to have around. It wasn’t uncommon to run into Tim, and if you hadn’t seen him for awhile he’d say something like, “Jesus Shoe, you’ve gained some weight, right?” or “Man, you’re losing more hair every time I see you.”

You know, pleasantries like that.

Listen, I’m not going to sugarcoat things here. Tim rubbed some people the wrong way. They didn’t appreciate his brand of honest, straightforward candor. As for me, it was exactly what I expected from a friend.

And often times that honesty was exactly what you needed. I remember running into him years ago, after I’d flunked out of college and was working in a local factory. I hated my job, was unhappy with my life, and was generally making everyone around me miserable. Tim took one look at me and said, “You look like hell. What’s wrong?” I told him I was fine but he wasn’t buying it. He said, “No you’re not. You hate yourself because you know you can do better. You need to get out of that fucking factory.”

ShoeTim98

And I did.

He was exactly right and I knew that, but sometimes it takes a friend to say it out loud.

Over the years we grew even closer as I became a teacher and coach and he worked as the chairman of our local political party as well as holding other jobs in local and state government. My family had been active in local politics my entire life, so it was one more thing we had in common. We did a lot of work together with local government, and because of Tim I got to meet President Bill Clinton and several other important political people.

Bottom line, he was exactly what I needed – honest with me when I needed it most, pointing out my faults without exception, and accepting me for who I was, warts and all. What more could anyone possibly want in a friend?

It was the early summer of 1999 and I was vacationing in the Outer Banks when I got a call from my father. He said he’d heard some bad news regarding Tim and that I might want to give him a call. I did, and after the usual greetings we had the following conversation:

Me: “Hey, I heard you got some serious news yesterday. Are you OK?”

Tim: “Well, only if you consider being told you have 12-weeks to live serious. Otherwise I’m great.”

Good God. Leave it to him to make light of the most morbid situation imaginable. But seriously, you know what he was doing, right? He was worried about my feelings. He’d heard the worry in my voice was trying to make me feel better.

Think about that. That should tell you all you need to know about him.

Over the next few weeks Tim gradually deteriorated despite seeing the experts and doing all the things recommended medically. It was difficult to watch, and he handled it much better than the rest of us, believe me.

Later that summer we talked him into going to the first game ever played in Cleveland’s new football stadium. It was a preseason contest against the Minnesota Vikings, on August 21st. We knew he didn’t have much time left but he sucked it up and agreed to go. He was down to probably 130 pounds, maybe less, and was feeling awful. In fact, he was spitting blood into a paper cup on the way to the game.

I remember he’d gotten a rather severe haircut before we left, and I kept telling him he looked like a Nazi war prisoner. He was so thin and gaunt, and that combined with the haircut made his ears look twice their normal size. At some point one of our wives started calling him “Wingnut” and it stuck for the rest of the weekend.

After checking in at our hotel, Tim and I got a cab to the stadium. For some reason we only had two tickets so the ladies stayed behind. After arriving we realized our seats were in the nosebleed section, w-a-y up top. It immediately became clear that the walk up there wasn’t going to be easy for Tim. He was already out of breath, and we’d barely started. No way he was going to make it.

Finally we saw an elevator, but it had a “V.I.P. Only” sign on it and was being guarded by a humongous man with a shaved head and arms the size of tree trunks. I walked up and explained the circumstances, hoping the guy would see our situation and cut us a break. But, it was the first game ever played there and the guy was under strict orders. He was having none of it.

Suddenly, Tim was there:

Look at me. I can’t walk up there. It’s obvious I’m dying. Help me out.”

At that point the guy stared at Tim for what felt like an eternity, then nodded his head in the direction of the elevator, punched in a code and said, “Get on.”

And we did. Then Tim looked at me, smiled and said, “Might as well use it to my advantage while I can.”

We finally made our way to our seats and sat down. Now, anybody who knew Tim will tell you he was a flirt with the ladies. He definitely had a weakness where beautiful women were concerned. That said, a few minutes later a hot blonde took the seat right next to him. He glanced over, did a double-take, and said, “Well, hell-ooo. How YOU doin’?

I could only stare and shake my head. Here he was, days away from dying, skinny as hell, hair sticking up all over, spitting blood into a paper cup, just so damn sick.

But still flirting with the girls? Hell yes.

On September 26th my wife and I had a political fundraiser at our house for my cousin Mike, a State Senator at the time. I believe it was a Sunday. There were 25-30 people there, and towards the end of the party Tim walked in. The place grew completely quiet, as many of the people there hadn’t seen him in weeks or even months and were stunned at his appearance. I remember our Scottish Terrier, Poe, coming out of the bedroom and looking at Tim. Poe normally stayed in the bedroom when we had large groups of people over, as he wasn’t crazy about big crowds. This time, however, was different. He walked over to the chair that Tim has just sat down in, jumped up on his lap, and began crying and licking his face. For the rest of Tim’s stay Poe wouldn’t leave his side.

Somehow, Poe knew.

The next evening I got the phone call nobody ever wants to get, and I immediately went over to Tim’s house.

I’ll always be thankful for the fact that I was able to spend a few of his last minutes with him.

I’d lost friends before, but they’d all passed suddenly. They never had a chance to think about what was happening, no time to say goodbye, no time for anger or sadness.

Tim had time for all of those things.

The thing is though, over those last 3-months I never saw him angry. I never saw him play the victim, never saw him feel sorry for himself, never saw him scream at God and ask why. Around me at least, he carried a quiet dignity that was remarkable. I respected that so much.

Once, towards the end, I mentioned this to him. I said that if I were in his position I’d be tempted to avenge very person who ever did me wrong, at the very least tell them how I felt before I left this earth, really let them have it.

His response?

“That’s because you’re an asshole. I am too, but something like this makes you see things a little differently. Why waste time on negative stuff like that? Life’s too short.”

Coming from him at that moment, truer words were never spoken.

I’ve not always been successful, but ever since he said that I’ve tried to not waste time using negative energy in my life. It seems a cliché, but you really do have to try and be the best person you can be every day. Like he said, why waste precious time?

He was only 42 when he died, and that was way too soon. And as difficult as it was to watch him suffer, at least he got to say his goodbyes to those he loved, especially his daughter Becky and his son Mike. That’s a kind of blessing, right?

After Tim’s funeral, we went out with some mutual friends and basically reminisced about him. It was an emotional day, and afterwards I just wanted to get home, spend some time alone and relax.

I went down to my basement where I had a bar, my library, and my music collection. I made a drink, sat down on my couch and laid my head back, just trying to unwind after a trying day. When I finally looked up, though, something caught me eye. A CD had fallen from one of my shelves and was on the floor, right in the open, where it had inexplicably landed right in the middle of the room.

The album was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

It seems that Tim had gotten the last word.

I walked over and picked it up, put the CD in the player, hit play, and listened.

What follows is my take on an old tale I heard years ago when I was a kid. Perhaps it was an Urban Legend, I can’t be sure. I just used the basic crux of the original story, all names, places and details have been created by me. Remember, this is my first attempt at true fiction so cut me a break. Hopefully, if people like this one, there will be more to follow . . .

Bobby Fallow was on the inside, doing time for the incredibly stupid crime of coffin_0robbing a gas station. He was desperately in need of money so he stole a gun from an uncle, put on a dumb George W. Bush mask, and went into a BP station in a town about thirty miles from where he lived. He proceeded to scare the bejesus out of the 50-something woman working the counter and made off with a grand total of $117.74, which he immediately wasted on booze over the next three days.

Bobby’s big mistake was bragging about his haul to his friend Gary, who had the brains of a blobfish. Gary’s father used to put it this way:

“You could put that boy’s brain in a flea’s ass and it would bounce around like a BB in a boxcar.”

So yeah, dumb.

The only guy in town dumber was probably Bobby, since he made the fateful decision to tell Gary he’d knocked over a damn gas station for $117.74.

Long story short, a couple days later the local po-po showed up at Bobby’s door and led him away in handcuffs. A court appointed attorney could do nothing to help, nor did he put forth much of an effort in the process.

So, eight freaking years, maybe five if Bobby could keep his nose clean and not piss off the wrong gang banger.

For Bobby, that was five years too long. He had to get out, man.

Midway through his second year of hell, he was transferred to the prison mortuary. Yeah, guys died in prison, more than you think, especially in a facility as big as the the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as the Alcatraz of the South. With well over 6,000 prisoners, the facility was one of the biggest in the United States.

The idea came to Bobby early, probably in his third week working in the prison morgue. As he stood watching a hearse pull away, taking some poor soul’s body to a cemetery off prison grounds, the idea hit him like a jolt of electricity from Gruesome Gertie, the name given by inmates to the old electric chair used to execute death row inmates.

I can get in a coffin and ride right the hell out of here.

Of course, there were some obstacles to overcome, the least of which was having to endure riding for God knows how long with a dead body lying beside him.

Bobby actually tested this once, when he was alone with a freshly filled casket and before the hearse arrived. He opened the lid, took a deep breath, and crawled right in. He then closed the lid, not all the way of course because he was terrified he’d lock himself in.

The good news was he fit.

Yeah, it was creepy as hell, but any fear he had of riding with a dead body for awhile was outweighed by the thought of glorious, mind-blowing freedom.

After lying in his cell night after night, going over the details in his mind, a plan was hatched. Clearly though, he’d need help.

Henry Cartwright was the old man for whom Bobby worked in the morgue, and he was not only a lifer but a snitch. If Old Man Henry got a whiff of the plan it would over before it started.

Bobby did have a friend inside he could trust, however. That man was Benny Bajolière, a dude from Bobby’s hometown of McNary, a little town of 215 people smack-dab in the middle of Louisiana and known primarily for its Lecompte Pie Festival.

Benny worked in the prison library and brought books around to the cells, so Bobby and he always had a few minutes a couple times a week to talk and catch up. Benny was a little older and smoked like a chimney, so between the squeaky wheels and Benny’s hacking cough you could always hear him and his book cart coming.

Benny also had connections within the prison walls and could get Bobby just about anything he wanted, from cigarettes to hooch. Bobby loved the Pruno, a sort of prison wine that would make you forget, if only for a little while, that you were in the most dangerous prison in the United States.

But here was the best part about Benny – he was set for release in a two months.

Over the course of their next few visits, the details were worked out. On the first Friday after Benny’s release date, Bobby would crawl inside the last casket of the day to leave Louisiana State Penitentiary. Benny would be waiting outside, follow the hearse, and after everyone left the burial site he would wait until dark and dig up his friend.

A month before Benny was to be released he was to be transferred to a halfway house, where he would ostensibly be prepared to ease back into society. After that he’d be officially released, and the first Friday thereafter he’d aid Bobby in his escape from the hell that was the Alcatraz of the South.

So, with that Benny Bajolière became Bobby Fallow’s lifeline. All Bobby could hope for was that Mr. Bajolière made good on his end of the deal.

Needless to say Bobby Fallow watched the calendar like a hawk. He knew Benny’s release date was approaching, and he waited patiently to put his plan into action.

On the Friday following Benny’s release date, Bobby prepared for his escape. After finishing his shift in the morgue at 3:00 pm, he went back to his open cell and sat nervously awaiting his move. About three hours later and after putting a previously prepared dummy under his bed sheets, he left his cell and walked down to the morgue. Using a morgue key he’d stolen earlier, he entered.

The place was without windows and was as dark as night, but he’d brought a book of matches to light the way. He found the last coffin in a row of four, knowing it would be the last one leaving, around 6:30 pm. Grabbing the lid handle and blowing out the match, he climbed in.

He’d timed it perfectly. After less than a half hour of lying next to a cold corpse, he felt the coffin being lifted and slid into the back of a hearse. After what seemed like hours but was in reality less than a half hour, Bobby could feel the coffin being removed from the hearse and lowered into the ground.

And then, the terrifying sound of dirt being shoveled onto the casket. After perhaps 20-minutes, it stopped.

Bobby Fallow was now buried alive.

Fighting the urge to scream and attempt to fight his way out, he took short, measured breaths as to conserve as much oxygen as possible. It was hot, cramped and pitch black.

Although Bobby tried his damndest not to think about the dead man lying next to him, it was a nearly impossible task.

He closed his eyes, and for the first time in years, he prayed. He prayed that Benny would be true to his word, and more importantly be on time.

After all, Bobby had calculated there would be enough oxygen in a closed coffin to last about five hours.

All he could do was wait.

And so he waited.

And waited.

How long had it been? Three, four hours? It seemed like an eternity. And then, a revelation – Bobby had a pocket watch. He just had to see how much time he’d been down there, under the ground.

With much difficulty he slid his hand down and gently pulled the watch from his pocket. He pulled it up near his face, but of course could see nothing but the inky blackness he’d been looking at for the past few hours.

For a few minutes he listened, hoping to hear the faint rustle of Benny digging his way down to rescue him. Oh, how they’d laugh and tell the story later, how Bobby was in such a panic-stricken state until Benny showed up as promised.

Alas, nothing. It was as still as death.

It was then Bobby remembered the matches. He reached down again, this time into his shirt pocket. He knew he couldn’t have a lit match in a closed casket very long because he was low on oxygen, but he just had to see the time. He just had to, as a form of reassurance as much as anything. Hell, he probably hadn’t been down there nearly as long as he thought he had.

Everything was going to be OK.

Still, to be certain he had to take one quick look.

He lit the match and took a quick glance at his watch.

Only 8:30.

He’d only been in the coffin for two hours. Just two measly hours. There was plenty of time, and help was most certainly on the way.

Breathing a sigh of relief, he started to blow out the match. But then, something compelled him to look to his side, into the face of the dead man beside him.

And there, staring back, was the face of Benny Bajolière.

So I watched the documentary “15 Septembers Later” on the History Channel 9_11_signlast night, and there were several bits of information I’d missed over the years. A lot of new information has been released over the past 5-years or so, and some of it is pretty incredible. Maybe you’ve already heard this before, maybe you haven’t. That said, below are the 9 things that I did not know:

  • Sadly, because authorities at the World Trade Centers didn’t want anyone getting up there to throw things off, in particular themselves, the doors to the roofs of the towers were chained shut. At least one helicopter with rescue personnel and equipment was hovering there, waiting for people to appear so they could save them.
  • The FFA National Operations Manager, Ben Sliney, grounded 5000 planes that day without asking anybody at the White House or anybody in the government, a great decision because we had no idea how many terrorists were out there on planes, waiting to take over. And oh, by the way? It was his first day on the job.
  • Captain William Hutchinson was the last person that saw Flight 93 that day. He was a fighter pilot and he was dispatched to chase the airliner. He made visual contact but, running out of fuel, he had to turn back. As he turned to leave he watched it began its nosedive.
  • Other fighter jets were sent into the air with orders to bring down any airliner that didn’t respond to radio contact. However, none of the jets had weapons aboard. They weren’t seen as needed over 2001 American soil. So, the pilots were told to bring the airliners down without being told exactly how. The pilots understood they were to ram the planes, and were prepared to do so. One female pilot explained that she’d planned to hit the passenger plane in the tail, and if she wasn’t killed on impact she’d then eject.
  • Only 20 people survived the collapse of the towers, while 2763 died. That’s a .007% survival rate. Of those survivors, 12 crawled to safety and 4 were rescued later.
  • Two Marines showed up at Ground Zero the day after the collapse and were told the debris pile was too dangerous and that nobody was allowed on it. Ignoring orders, they went in, calling out for survivors. They discovered 2-people and rescued them. One of the Marines, Jason Thomas, left immediately afterwards and told nobody, not even his immediate family, that he was involved. Just recently, he came forward.
  • Finance firm Cantor Fitzgerald lost the most people of any company that day, losing 658 of their 969 employees. Although 0nly 32% of their people lived, the company survived and is thriving today.
  • In the 9/11 Commission’s lengthy report, 28-pages were originally missing. Years later when they were finally released, officials stated they were withheld because they were “embarrassing to the Saudis”. We know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and evidence pointed to Saudi nationals funding the plan. In addition, information on the hijackers behavior and whereabouts in the months prior to 9/11 has never been released. We only know that some of them trained in Florida. We don’t know who paid their bills or anything. They spoke poor English and had never been to the United States. How did they pull off such a sophisticated attack?
  • It is estimated that 200-people chose to jump that day, rather than face death in the flames of the building. One firefighter, Danny Suhr, was killed when a jumper landed on him after “falling like a torpedo” from the sky, breaking his neck. The priest who gave him last rites was later killed by falling debris.

Note: When I was in Florida recently I stayed in Venice, near where some of the hijackers trained to fly. I read an article in the paper that told the story of a local sheriff at the time. He was called to a hotel because a little dog had bitten a man. Upon arrival, the owner of the dog, a woman, said her dog had never bitten anyone before and she was scared he’d be taken from her. The sheriff then went to the man’s apartment to check on him. Although he’d called and had his hand wrapped in a towel, he told the sheriff he didn’t want to press charges. That man was later found out to be one of the hijackers. Upon hearing this, the sheriff remembered he’d looked past the man into the apartment that day to see four other men sitting at a table, looking at blueprints. The sheriff thought nothing of it, thinking they were engineers or something. Chilling. On a related note, dogs know, don’t they?

Ten years ago, on September 8th, I lost the best little friend I’d ever had.

I first laid eyes on Delaney in early December of 2000. She was a 4-year old rescue and my wife and I had to go pick her up from the Dayton Scottish Terrier Club of America. She was unrecognizable as a Scottie. Her hair was long and unkempt, totally full of knots. When we reached down to pet her she would immediately hit the floor, going flat on her stomach. She just assumed she was going to be hit.

Del had been terribly abused by her owners. She trusted nobody, and would growl and shy away from anyone who tried to touch her. It would be over a year before she would even lick your hand. She had no idea how to love or show compassion. When we brought her home to meet her new brother Poe, she growled and nipped at him, generally making his life miserable for several months.

Over time, Del learned that we weren’t going to hurt her. She slowly and gradually warmed up to us, but it seemed to take forever. When she finally opened up to us, her incredible personality was revealed. She was a feisty, tough, animated, energetic little girl, albeit one with a giant chip on her shoulder. She had the most amazing eyes and expressions that just spoke to you. When she wanted something, she never hesitated to let you know with a yelp and a nudge of her nose. In fact, she came quite proficient at using that nose as a battering ram. If a door was left even slightly ajar, you could soon expect Del to come barging in to see what you were up to. To make matters worse, she taught her brother the same trick.

Del was a fighter. She didn’t back down from anything, whether it be a bigger delsleep11dog or a terrible disease. Ten years ago we took her in for a vet appointment and found that she had an abdominal mass inside of her. We’d had no idea. She’d been at the beach all summer and hadn’t shown a bit of discomfort. Her spleen had to be taken out, but she was as good as new in a month or so.

Then, in the fall of ’07 Del fell ill again. This time it was cancer, and she had to have a 9-pound tumor removed from her little 25-pound body. After surgery, pancreatitis set in and it was really bad. She was at MedVet for several days, and at one point the doctor told us that we shouldn’t hold out much hope, that Del didn’t have much of a chance, probably wouldn’t make it through the night. She could barely hold her little head up, and we basically said our goodbyes.

But as I was leaving a young vet called me aside and whispered this:

“Don’t give up. She’s a hundred times stronger than you or me. I can tell.”

And he was right.

The next morning we called expecting the worst, but incredibly we were told she was sitting up. Stunned, we went to see her and were thrilled to see she was much better. The doctors were shocked and Del was quite the little celebrity among the vets and staff at MedVet. Everyone was just amazed that she’d fought through it and came out alive. Del was a little miracle dog. She came home a few days later and just kept recovering until she seemed as good as new.

Unfortunately, the cancer came back and this time it had spread to her bladder. In January 2008 we were told that Delaney had 4-months to live. You would never had known it as she was as perky and vibrant as ever, hopping around, standing on her back legs asking for treats, just generally being Del. The 4-months passed and she was still going strong. Once again Del was beating the odds. Then, in late August, she started showing signs that things weren’t right. She started to decline quickly, eventually stopped eating and our local vet told us that it was time.

We lost Delaney on September 8th, 2008. She was nearly 12-years old, and I held her as she passed. She was wrapped in an old robe of mine that she loved so much. You know, I learned more from her than anyone can imagine. Her determination, resiliency, and lust for life were inspiring. Once she learned that we loved her, her loyalty, compassion, boundless energy, and sheer will-power made her a remarkable pet and the perfect companion.

She’s been gone for 10-years now, but she will never, ever be forgotten.

I loved that little dog so much.

David Huddleston, a noted character actor who was most famously known david-huddleston-deadfor the titular role in “The Big Lebowski” died Tuesday at 85. His wife, Sarah Koeppe, told the Los Angeles Times that he died of heart and kidney disease in Santa Fe, N.M.

Huddleston’s character in the 1998 “The Big Lebowski” epitomized the types of characters he was known for — big dons or capos and tempestuous men. Although he is in only a few scenes in the film, he crosses paths with Jeff Bridges’ Lebowski character, aka “The Dude,” after a group of gang members attack “The Dude” mistaking him for Huddleston’s millionaire Lebowski. Though the film was not a hit when it first premiered, it has since become a huge cult sensation with a devoted fan base.

Well, hell. I’m just devastated over here. The guy who played Big Lebowski is dead? Say it ain’t so. Crushing news. That’s one of my favorite movies ever, period. Who’s next, John Goodman? Steve Buscemi? For the love of God, Jeff Bridges?

Now if you’ll excuse me I need a minute.