Archive for the ‘weird’ Tag

12-12-2015 Journal–Christmas Weirdness!   1 comment

thJ3XY5CND

It’s easy to get on a lengthy sentimental journey of sorts during the Christmas season but with this posting I hope to avoid that.  Christmas and all of it’s incarnations worldwide are interesting and strange to say the least. Here are a host of weird and strange Christmas factoids you may not be aware of but are true nonetheless.

  • Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner, thanks to a successful marketing campaign 40 years ago. KFC is so popular that customers must place their Christmas orders 2 months in advance.
  • Paul McCartney earns $400,000 a year off his Christmas song, which is widely regarded as the worst song he ever recorded. 
  • Mistletoe kissing originated with fertility rites. The hanging sprig is a very ancient symbol of virility and therefore anybody standing beneath it is signaling that he or she is sexually available.
  • About half of Sweden’s population watches Donald Duck cartoons every Christmas Eve since 1960 .
  • Mormon missionaries can only call home twice a year: once on Mother’s Day and again on Christmas.

thN3DA8D06

Don’t you feel bad for poor old Paul McCartney. He reaped only $400,000.00 a year for a crappy song. Keep the lucky bastard in your Christmas prayers.  And KFC for Christmas in Japan? That’s as weird as it gets.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991.
  • Engineers designing the Voyager Space mission planned it to avoid planetary encounters over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany. The Nazis were none the wiser.
  • The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII.
  • The Christmas Tree is a manufactured tradition. Victorian intellectuals  invented the tradition as part of a social movement to consciously reform Christmas away from its tradition of raucous drinking.

Hooray for Freddy Mercury and Queen. Their Christmas song just has to be better than McCartney’s.  The Victorians did us no favors so bring back  all that raucous drinking, please.

  • Christmas as a "day off" is a recent innovation. As late as 1850, December 25 was not a legal holiday in New England.
  • The Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
  • The highest-grossing holiday movie is 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in $175m so far.
  • Hanging stockings comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
  • There is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.

thQ3OYYVJ6

No angels singing in the Bible. Isn’t that just a giant kick in the ass? Personally I don’t think there was much singing at all in the Bible. People were too busy begatting and killing to have time for singing.

  • Jesus was probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say Biblical scholars.
  • In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world’s biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
  • The holly in a wreath symbolizes Christ’s crown of thorns while the red berries are drops of his blood.
  • Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
  • Astronomers believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the wise men to Jesus, may have been a comet or the planet Uranus.

I’m glad to see the state of Maine making the list. Although how proud can you be about a giant snowman. Snow is about all we have to offer except for a few billion pine trees.

  • Santa Claus has different names around the world – Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
  • In Britain, the best-selling holiday song is Band Aid’s 1984 track, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sold 3.5 million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4 million.
  • US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
  • Despite the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus, the Bible never gives a number. Matthew’s Gospel refers to merely "wise men".
  • There are 13 Santa’s in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children. They come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

th1LXSJE02

Another misquote from the Bible. Are you shocked? Not me.  And thanks to all of those scientists for taking the time out of their busy work day to compute those figures.  Get a life guys.

TWELVE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

09-13-2015 Journal–Rainy Day Projects!   Leave a comment

With the season change looming and with a few days of rain expected, it’s time to get back to work on some of my side projects. One in particular needs immediate attention because I’m running out of time to have it done by November 14th.  It’s a weird but special gift for my better-half the beer connoisseur.  On top of being a beer expert she’s also a collector of sorts. Over the last twenty-five years she’s religiously saved bottle caps from every type of beer she’s ever tasted.  We ended up with a garbage bag filled with hundreds of beer memories (bottle caps) but had no idea what to do with them. 

DSCN0105

It’s funny how things fall together at times. Just as I was cutting our ties with the Dish Network by removing their equipment from the side of our house, I had a revelation.  I took the dish and all of it’s component parts, reconstructed them into a sort of interesting but weird side table.

DSCN0108

DSCN0109

As I was working on the table I looked over to the corner of the workshop and saw the bag of bottle caps.  It was then I decided to use the colorful and interesting bottle caps to create a mosaic top for my Dish Network Memorial Table. What better gift for a beer connoisseur than a one-of-a-kind table for her to sit her beer on.

DSCN0110

I used a floor-leveler compound to flatten out the dish interior a little and then got to work on the mosaic top. The wide range of bottle cap colors surprised me a bit but made the job much easier.

DSCN0106_edited-1

DSCN0107_edited-1

Two coats of high gloss paint will make it pretty and mounting it  on a wooded base will keep it sturdy enough for everyday use.  Then it’s adhesive, bottle cap placement, and a decorative grout.  I’ll post my future progress  (if I have any) and hopefully this thing will be finished in time for the birthday celebration.

07-21-2015 Journal–Strange, Weird & Creative!   Leave a comment

th51P38WO4

All of us folks who love blogging seem to have that secret wish to be a published and recognized writer.  We read the classics as students and are told by our teachers what great and wonderful authors they were. What they failed to explain was that these same incredible writers had  private lives that were all too often a nightmare.

I’ve spent my life hanging out with creative types and have been amazed. I’ve found myself speechless at times after really getting to know them and seeing them for what they really are, just plain old, screwed up, and faulty human beings like everyone else.  Without their creativity they’d be an average Joe with all the normal problems and complaints.  Unfortunately that creativity gene has the bizarre ability to turn normal run-of-the-mill problems into absolute disasters.  Boozing, drug use, and all too often an early and tragic death.

thUM1GQV42

With that being said I thought I’d offer up some words of wisdom from some of  our more creative celebrities. This is my lame attempt to show them as just regular folks with a huge twist.  Let’s go . . . .

  • “Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion.”  Madonna
  • “I wish men had boobs because I like the feel of them. It’s so funny, when I record I sing with a hand over each of them. Maybe it’s a comfort thing.” Baby Spice
  • “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”  Oscar Wilde
  • “I say no to drugs. But they don’t listen.”  Marilyn Manson
  • “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”  Woody Allen

In college I found myself living in a small community of artists of all types.  We remained separate from the rest of the school for a number of reasons. First we dressed a little differently, we saw things a little differently, and we didn’t give a damn what other people thought about us. I wish I would’ve had the good sense to write down a few of the more profound quotes they offered up as we sat around drinking wine and smoking a fat one.  We solved all the problems of the world but couldn’t remember any of the solutions the next morning. How ironic!  Keep reading . . .

  • “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks
  • “If I had a choice of having a woman in my arms or shooting a bad guy on a horse, I’d take the horse. It’s a lot more fun.” Kevin Costner
  • “It’s like when I buy a horse. I don’t want a thick neck and short legs.” Mickey Rourke, on his ideal woman
  • “My advice to you is get married. If you find as good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”  Socrates
  • “Where the hell is Australia, anyway?”  Britney Spears

thANQO763L

I could go on but I think I’ve made my point.  Creative types normally spend a good part of their lives “out there” on the very edge of “the box” and occasionally fall all the way out.  I’ve been called creative for most of my life and it never seems to be all that complimentary.  It’s always “He’s very creative, but a little strange.”  For most of us that’s our badge of honor and we wear it proudly.

Long Live the Strange!

08-08-2014 Journal Entry – Boring, Strange & Weird!   Leave a comment

It’s been one of those typical summer days.  A little boring, a little strange, and a whole lotta weird.  The weird occurred this morning when I received a “Friend Request” on Facebook from a person I haven’t seen or spoken to in almost twenty years.  I immediately recognized his name, remembered his face, and then remembered more. 

This guy I’m discussing worked for me when I was managing criminal investigations for a national corporation that will remain nameless. Part of my duties involved training the newbies in criminal interrogation and the handling of potential suspects.  He was tagging along with me on a case involving the theft of thousands of dollars by some of our more nefarious associates.  I’d completed a number of preliminary interviews with persons of interest and had narrowed the suspect list to three possible’s.  My politically correct boss advised me by telephone to give the "new guy" a shot at the final interviews. I wasn’t too happy with that decision but there was nothing much I could do but sit in the room with him and watch. The main suspect was a female department manager who was known to be confrontational and extremely belligerent.  As she entered the interrogation room she snarled at me and just stood there staring at him. You should also know she was a somewhat large woman.

thX31GJR73
It’s always important for an interrogator to quickly build a rapport with the interviewee before getting into the more difficult questions. This guy was trying to be so cool and suave that he began schmoozing the woman by asking her how many months pregnant she was. Unfortunately while she did look pregnant, she wasn’t. She jumped to her feet,  screamed a dozen obscenities at him and then slammed the door as she stormed out of the interview room. It was all I could do to remain professional and not laugh out loud. He was utterly mortified and totally speechless. He violated the cardinal rule for doing a successful interrogation. Never, never, never, ask a question unless you already know the answer. 

Fortunately I reinterviewed her the next day and managed to use his screw-up to get a full confession out of her. She stated after a few minutes of questioning that she’d tell me anything I wanted to know as long as I kept that no good SOB away from her.  While she was at it she ratted out three of her alleged friends as well. It was a thing of beauty and something I’ll never forget.

Needless to say, I denied his friend request immediately.

I then made my daily trip to look in on my two new best friends. It was my last day of dog sitting before the better-half and her daughter return from their Maryland vacation.  These first photos are of Jasper.  He’s the elder statesman of the two who isn’t quite as peppy as he once was.  He seemed pretty damn happy to get out of the house for a while and who wouldn’t be.  He was locked in the house with two cats and a second spastic dog named Rihanna.

DSC_0016

‘Jasper Showing His Good Side’

DSC_0020

‘Jasper Being an Idiot’

This is Rihanna his nutso step-sister who’s half pit-bull and half lunatic.  She has more energy than three dogs and will play fetch with you until you drop. She loves to jump up and greet people when she meets them and I have a scar on my forehead to prove it. Crazy freaking dog.

DSC_0018

“A Rare Shot of Her Actually Standing Still’

DSC_0024

I returned home and ended my day with two hours on the riding mower trying to cut this wet grass before the next thunder storm arrives.  I really will be glad to have my better-half home on Saturday. At least she’s housebroken.

01-04-2014 Journal – Dreaming In Our Reality!   Leave a comment

Another night of weird dreams.  I said WEIRD not WET, so get your mind out of the gutter. Over the years I’ve slowly and steadily learned to love my dreams.  Everyone loves to take a nap or to sleep soundly through the night but not me.  If I don’t have a really good dream as well I’m truly disappointed.  I’ve developed the ability over time to remember my dreams and what is even more amazing is returning to an old dream on multiple occasions  I remember streets and directions in these dreams making it possible for me to visit them again and and again and actually know my way around.  It sounds stupid but it’s really pretty cool.

As I sit here this morning I began to let my love of science fiction kick in.  I’m looking for answers as to why dreams are the way they are.  How can it be possible for a human mind to create places and people we’ve never known and then revisit them multiple times in dreams.  I understand that seeing, meeting, and talking with people from our past in dreams is possible.  We carry millions of subconscious memories in our brain that are available for it’s use.  Can the brain actually create these weird stories filled with even weirder people without any help from our conscious self?  If it can’t then it takes this discussion to a whole new level.

We’ve all seen the movies, The Matrix and Avatar, and enjoyed them.  Let me throw this idea out there.  Maybe our brain really isn’t creating these scenarios at all.  Can it be possible that the life we live and perceive to be our reality is anything but.  Could this reality be nothing more than a giant computer generated program populated with we humans who are nothing more than avatars being used by someone else in their own reality.  Maybe the portions of our dreams we don’t understand are just fragments of memories from the host person or thing whose avatar we are.  They’re living our lives through us and when they’ve finished playing their weird little game they exit from the program and go about their lives.  During that down-time is when we in our reality get to sleep and dream. Our brain retains fragments of their lives and combines them with our own for really strange and sometimes scary dreams and nightmares.

It would explain a lot of things that I have questions about.  In fact it would be very similar to those computer generated role playing games on the Internet in this reality.  People have become so immersed in them at times that their real lives and relationships have been adversely effected.  Those computer generated lives become so real to them that their real lives become secondary causing a serious shift in their reality.  Is that what’s happening when we dream?  Is that why I have dreams and relationships in my dreams with people and places I’ve never experienced in this reality?  I really don’t have the answers but I really enjoy asking the questions and exploring the possibilities.

That’s how my mind spent a few minutes this morning while my better-half was droning on about her schedule for the day.  I was deep into this train of thought and almost got myself in serious trouble when I was accused of not paying attention to her.  Maybe when she reads this it will give her a better understanding of how weird my mind works at time and not to take it so personally.

12-15-2013 Christmas Food Traditions   Leave a comment

I’m what you might consider a “foodie”.  I love to cook and above all I love to eat.  It might explain why I’m in the middle of a six month weight loss program.  As a kid I always looked forward to the holiday season primarily due to my grandmothers Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  Every country and ethnic group has their own list of traditions for the holidays and compared to the United States they can be  just a bit strange and a few are a little disgusting.  Some are fun but they all accomplish the same basic things as ours.  Time with family, friends, and memories of past holidays and family members.

Here are a few I discovered while surfing which are very interesting.  I can guarantee one thing after reading them, I’ll never be attending Christmas dinners anywhere in Scandinavia.  I love  seafood but OMFG.

Japan

In Japan it’s customary to go out and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner from a nearby KFC of course. Thousands of people flock to KFC’s to enjoy some finger licking chicken and the Christmas rush has become so huge that some branches take table bookings.

Peru

In Peru, the big day is Noche Buena or “Good Night”, on December 24. On this night, after mass, everybody goes home to open gifts and feast on an elaborately prepared Christmas meal of traditional roasted turkey. At midnight, the adults toast with champagne and children raise their glasses of hot chocolate as fireworks shine in the night sky.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria they cook 12 dishes to represent the 12 months of the year but they eat no meat. A typical feast consists of nuts, dried plums, cakes and banitza (a pastry). Walnuts are a necessary component of the meal as each family member cracks one in order to determine their fate for the next year.

France

Traditionally the French dine on a starter of fresh oysters served with rye bread and butter and lemon juice or shallot vinegar. Some households may also eat smoked salmon or escargots (snails). This dish is then followed by a second starter of Coquilles St Jacques (Scallops with mushrooms and white wine).

Italy

After the meatless day before Christmas, Italians often enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner that includes other meats. From lamb to roast beef, turkey or pork, Italians often include foods other than fish on their tables on Christmas day. Salads and antipasto are often the first course. Broccoli, eggplant, peppers and other vegetables are featured in side dishes. Pasta’s, a staple of Italian cooking, are also included on the big day, in baked dishes or as homemade vermicelli. Crostini, a dry toasted bread, is often included in the meal.  Fruits and nuts may also make an appearance as well as desserts and sweets. Try your hand at making belfanini an anise flavored cookie.

Puerto Rico

Popular dishes include roast pig, rice and pea dishes, coquito or eggnog made with rum and coconut milk, coconut custard, fried plantains, and nuts. Many families also celebrate with unique dishes only made during the holiday season.

Sweden

Swedish Julafton (Christmas Eve dinner) typically consists of a smorgasbord with julskinka (a type of Christmas ham), lutefisk (pickled pigs feet), dried codfish, sliced gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), pickled herring and an assortment of sweets.

Norway

They enjoy pinnekjøtt which is salted lamb ribs for the main course. To compliment the meat they tend to eat mashed rutabaga (also known as swede) which is kind of like our turnips.  Another favorite meat at Christmas is the lambs head to go along with the lamb ribs. This is boiled and salted (minus the brains) and the head is eaten from front to back with the tongue and eye muscles being particularly yummy cuts.

Czech Republic

Christmas is a very religious and peaceful time in the Czech Republic and everyone fasts for one day in the run up to the Christmas meal. They then start with a fish soup which is followed by the tradition of carp. This is often accompanied by a potato salad including onions, cooked carrots, pickled gherkins, cooked eggs and mayonnaise. This is prepared on Christmas Eve and allowed to ‘mellow’ for a day before eating. YUM?????

* * *

You see what I mean about Scandinavia.  Truly some acquired tastes there.  I hope you’re finished with your shopping and are preparing to relax and enjoy the holiday.  I know, I know, who am I kidding.  You’re probable a bunch of Christmas Eve shoppers who get off on the big crowds and incidental body contact.  Another unusual Christmas tradition that started in NYC on the subways. LOL

06-28-2013   2 comments

I know all of you are just sitting there and waiting for the answers to yesterday’s celebrity quiz.  Here’s the complete list of celebrities with their aliases.  How did you really do?

Boris Karloff…..William Henry Pratt
Mary Pickford…..Gladys Smith
Audrey Hepburn…..Edda Van Heemsta
Samuel Goldwyn…..Sam Goldfish
W.C. fields…..William Claude Dunkenfield
Martin Sheen…..Ramon Esteves
Michael Keaton…..Michael Douglas
Roy Rogers…..Leonard Slye
Dale Evans…..Francis Octavia Smith
Mel Brooks…..Melvin Kominsky
Jane Wyman…..Sarah Jane Folks
Whooping Goldberg…..Caryn Johnson
Joan Crawford…..Lucille Le Sueur
Woody Allen…..Allen Stewart Kinigsberg
Charlie Sheen…..Carlos Esteves

On to the next subject.  As promised, another list of totally useless information I’ve collected from all sorts of sources both on the net and elsewhere.

  • Twenty-eight percent of Africa is wilderness while thirty eight percent of North America is wilderness.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
  • The average person spends three years of his or her life on a toilet.
  • Take your height and divide by eight. That’s how tall your head is.
  • One in three male motorists picks their nose while driving.
  • More than ten people a year are killed by vending machines.
  • More Monopoly money is printed in a year, than real money printed throughout the world.
  • Famous billionaire Howard Hughes stored his own urine in large bottles.
  • Approximately $25 million is spent each year on lap dances in Las Vegas.
  • 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts.
  • Each year, there are more than 40,000 toilet related injuries in the United States.
  • Coca-cola was originally green.
  • The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s "It’s a Wonderful Life".

Are you feeling smarter now?  Slowly but surely I’m filling your heads with mind numbing information which you’ll probably never use in any conversation and will most likely forget by Monday.  It’s my insidious plot to takeover the world, one mind at a time.