Archive for the ‘punxatawney’ Tag

03-05-2016 Journal–Spring, Here or Not?   Leave a comment

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Here we are, it’s the first week of March and everyone in Maine is in a tizzy about an early Spring.  I’ve been fooled too many times by that little rodent from Punxatawney, PA.  Living in Maine has given me a new respect for good old Mother Nature.   She can make a fool of us very easily it seems.  So I thought I’d come up with a few telltale signals to help me make my own decision. How to tell if an early Spring will be coming to Maine. Here they are.

  • The morning doves arrived this week, a few months ahead of schedule. Maybe they know something I don’t but then again they’re just stupid birds.
  • The daffodils are an inch high and going strong even though the night temperatures have remained in the mid-twenties.
  • I actually observed a number of groundhog loving idiots wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops in the last few weeks. Morons!
  • I’ve also spotted large numbers of maple syrup collection pots going onto maple trees all over the area.

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‘Old-school equipment.’

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‘New high-tech equipment.’

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‘End Result’

  • The ice fishing huts are off the lakes and sitting on shore. The ice is either gone completely or too soft to walk on.

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  • Snowmobiles throughout the area have been parked in driveways with “For Sale” signs attached.  Always a telling sign.
  • The squirrels are out in large numbers already as reflected by the increased number of road kills I’ve been observing.
  • While road kill numbers for squirrels are up so are the number of bicyclists on the roads. Riding through piles of dirty snow must give them some kind of a perverse thrill.
  • Of course the crazy and obsessive joggers and power walkers seem to be everywhere all of a sudden. It’s a real chore trying to drive on the roads filled with joggers, walkers, bicycles, squirrels, and the slowly melting piles of dirty snow.
  • And finally now that the parka’s, gloves, scarfs, and sweaters are coming off I can once again begin my girl watching campaign for 2016.  For most of the winter it’s hard to tell who are the men and who are the women.

I suppose I should mention that when I woke up this morning I walked over to the window to check things out. To my chagrin we had just enough of a snowfall during the night to whiten everything.  This is Spring? I think not.

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Lesson #1 – Ignore weather forecasts made by groundhogs who don’t live in the state of Maine.

C’MON SPRING

02-02-2016 – Retro TV Trivia Answers!   Leave a comment

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But first a quick announcement:

Another year has come and gone and it’s again time to give the big one-fingered salute to our old friend “Phil” sitting comfortably atop Gobbler’s Knob in Punxatawney, PA.  A second salute also goes out to each and every one of the political hacks, suck-ups, and talking heads trying to make a splash on the local media.  For me it doesn’t take a stupid groundhog to tell me there’ll be six more weeks of winter.  I have a dumb-ass cat that can figure that one out.

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Now back to the trivia answers:

Some of you and I won’t mention any names (Sylvia) made a valiant attempt to coerce some trivia answers out of me yesterday. I may be cheap but I’m not easy but nice try anyway.  Here they are.

Answers

1.  123 1/2 Sesame Street.

2.  Four.

3.  The Church of What’s Happening Now.

4.  A policeman, a minor role.

5.  John Wayne, who then recommended his little known actor friend James Arness for the role.

6.  Happy Days.

7.  From it’s star, Redd Foxx, who was born John Elroy Sanford.

8.  The USS Yorktown.

9.  Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, Betty Jo, and uncle Joe.

10. Perry Masonry.

BONUS ANSWER – At  age 30, after 12 years as a  platinum blonde and 18 as a natural brunette.

 

I hope you had fun trying to figure these out.  The next list will be posted in a week or so and I’ll make sure they’re as just as difficult.

HAPPY EFFING GROUNDHOG DAY

02-01-2013   Leave a comment

Are you ready for the big celebration to begin? It’s Ground Hog Day eve. As I’ve mentioned many times before I was born and raised in western Pennsylvania from good sound German stock on my mother’s side of the family.  February 2 was always celebrated and remains a well known and enjoyed holiday for us.  I never bothered to search out the origins of the holiday because to me it didn’t  really matter.  So I found this little tidbit of information which is a  little interesting and might tell you something you didn’t already know.

The celebration, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog. It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc, the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 1 and also involves weather prognostication and to St. Swithun’s Day in July.

I’ve written about my close association with Ground Hog Day a number of times in the past but it’s a fun story and bears repeating (in my humble opinion).

The holiday means only one thing in Pennsylvania and that is the appearance of our old friend ‘Punxatawney Phil’ on Gobbler’s Knob.  He’s scheduled to show his furry little face on the second of February every year to let us know whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter.

To reminisce a bit, way too many years ago I was a rookie state police trooper in Pennsylvania. To a newbie that means getting stuck with every crappy police detail they can find for you.  One of the crappier of those was being sent to Punxatawney to guard “Phil” and for crowd control in and around Gobbler’s Knob.  I thought they were kidding me but they weren’t.

A few of us rookies were ordered to make the trek to Punxatawney, PA along with a veteran sergeant who must have lost the coin toss. We arrived in our cleanest and well pressed uniforms, met with all of the local politicians, and then were introduced to ‘Phil"’.  He was cordial enough for a stupid gopher but we were well advised to keep our hands away from him.  He was a touch cranky and known to nip off a finger or two if provoked.

Believe it or not the crowds were huge.  I’ve never understood why every local politician from miles around flocks to that ceremony.  I guess they’re just hoping to get some free TV face-time or maybe even an interview with some of the local media. I met some mayors, some councilmen, and a few political hacks which unfortunately weren’t even as interesting as meeting ‘Phil’.

The only good thing I experienced that day was a rather buxom news reporter  from a nearby town who took an immediate liking to my manly stature and my  pretty uniform.  She was much less furry than ‘Phil’ which was a plus and she  also paid for my dinner.  She even convinced me that dating her was the right thing to do.  So I did.

It’s sad  to say but we all know any relationship built upon a Groundhog Day Ceremony was doomed from the start.  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t care to drive to Punxatawney (a three hour round trip) every weekend.  I  finally explained to her that long distance relationships just never work out no matter what.  It wasn’t her, it was me.  I dragged out all of the old clichés I could remember and disappeared from her life.

They tried to send me on that  detail the following year but I had a court appearance and was able to dodge that bullet. I wasn’t too concerned about meeting “Phil” again but that blond had me seriously concerned.  Besides, do we really need a gopher to let us know we’re going to have six more weeks of winter. We really are stupid sometimes.

Posted February 2, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Humor, Just Saying Again

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