Dec 20

Poe boy…

Poe Boy

Of course I love the magical and the unexplained. I’ve said it here a hundred times before.

Tonight, I learned of a true story that is worthy of retelling. It involves a famous author in the way of Edgar Allan Poe. (He was one of my Dad’s favorites. He would walk around he house quoting Poe to us all the time.)

But that isn’t the story. The account goes like this….. and is kind of “involved”…. but read on if you care to.

One of Poe’s first novel was a fiction piece entitled “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” which he published in 1838. It was his only full length novel. But it failed miserably. Big flop. But it was kind of that “Blair Witch” deal. He said it was based on factual events…. but it was pure fiction.

But… was it?

In the narrative… a whaling ship is lost at sea. Everybody dies except four crewmen. Out of food, the men drew lots to see who would be eaten, the unfortunate decision landing on a young cabin boy named Richard Parker.

Okay… Now jump ahead forty-six years later in real life. There was an actual disaster at sea involving a ship called the Mignonette.

It became famous due to the legal consequences of some gruesome events on board. Now hold on to your hats.

The said “gruesome” events were …. specifically….. the way the men drew lots and decided to eat their cabin boy. AND NOW… the weirdest part… the cabin boy’s name was Richard Parker. Honest to goodness.

Now this is just scary.

Coincidence. Maybe. Foretelling? Could be. Hard to say. But that kind of fictional writing… turning up in true events 46 years later…. is at the very least intriguing and quite mystifying.

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”….

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert “The Awesome” Einstien


Dec 19

Duck…. Monkey.


I think I need to duck.  You see…..

This monkey brain needs someone to do some clearing up for me. I’m looking for some clarity. Perhaps the makers of Windex could send me a whole skid of the stuff.

There is so much I do not understand about the world, and about life…. and a whole lot that is bothering me tonight.

Typically, I don’t write much about current events here…. or politics… or religion. I think it is because I want to keep everybody happy. Well, as Abraham Lincoln once said….. you can’t keep every stinking person happy all the stinking time. (That’s a very loose quote, by the way.) But with that said….. sometimes I am not so happy about things.

And here we are. We live in a “free” country, where people are entitled to have opinions and beliefs. I respect others’ rights as such. Here is the thing though. I guess I have those same exact rights.

Yep. I just Googled it. I do HAVE those same rights.

So, tonight I feel the need to share a couple of thoughts that just might rub some folks the wrong way.

It is this whole Duck Dynasty business.
I know the guy has a right to free speech. I know he has a right to believe in the bible. All good Christians do. I live by those same sorts of principles and moral standards. Ethics. Honesty. Morality. Love for one another.

But he talks about sinners and sinning.

I guess here is where I don’t quite understand things.  I thought all human beings were sinners… according to the bible. Isn’t everyone sort of born with that original sin thing? The whole Adam and Eve in the garden… we now are sinners because they sinned? (I love apples, by the way. I hope this doesn’t count against me.)

So is this Phil Robertson guy exempt from sinning? And if not… what makes his sins more or less than others sins? I see people “Liking” his comments on Facebook, and in the news, and such. That is their right.

But who is it that decides which sins are worse than others. Is lying just a tiny sin? OR how about adultery, cheating, disrespect for thy mother and father? Are these worse or not as bad as stealing, and or murder? And as Phil says on “sinning”… … … start with “homosexuality and morph out from there.”

Yeah. Somebody clear this up for me. Because right now it all seems like muddy duck waters to me.

And I have trouble wading in muddy duck waters.

From E! News and GQ Magazine:

The 67-year-old founder of the Duck Commander Co. shared a number of views that may have shocked fans of the show who tune in for the inexplicably engrossing hijinks, the generally congenial members of the Robertson family and the always-entertaining facial hair.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” Phil told GQ. “Sin becomes fine.”
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he continued, going on to paraphrase Corinthians, from the seventh book of the New Testament.
“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” Robertson added. “That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”


“There is no sin except stupidity.” – Oscar Wilde

“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.” – Jesus Christ



Dec 18

Freeze your bootie.


I used to love it when The Joker and The Riddler were on Batman.  The old Batman series… the one with Adam West as Batman…. and little Burt Ward as Robin.

Alfred was the best.

The fights were spectacular.  A big “Comic” POW would come on the TV screen.   The Penguin would always waddle right through things.  Classic.  Just classic.  Julie Newmar as Catwoman.  Priceless.

Yet… I never, ever liked it when Mr. Freeze came on the show.


Some things never change.  These days… I always love a funny joke or a good riddle.  Yet….  I STILL don’t like it when Mr. Freeze comes around.  Not one little bat-bit.

But since we are speaking of the impending winter…. slated to begin in just a few days…. here are some interesting bat-bits for you.

One inch of rain…. is equivalent to 10 inches of snow.  At least… they melt down to the same amount of water.

Ice is more hazardous  to power lines than wet snow.  The ice is heavier.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in the world was -128 degrees Celsius, in Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983.

The all-time world record for the largest snowfall in a single day was set in the United States on December 4, 1913, when Georgetown, Colorado received a staggering 63 inches of snow – more than five feet.


So…. stay warm out there.  Don’t forget to keep your booties on.  Or shake your bootie….   Whichever makes you feel better.

Dec 17

Monkey Bling

Letters 12-17-2013---ollieollie

Hi Folks.  Maxine Here.  I am typing for Ollie the Dumbhead tonight.  She is Dingbat.  I don’t like her much.  But she was making a terrible mess when she tried to write.  So…. rather than put up with the possibility of an ink catastrophe … here is the rest of her letter.  Nice and Neat.


Dear Everybody, all you people out there,

Hello, it is me Ollie.  Everyone calls me Ollie.  You can too.

I wanted to show you my new Bling. It is Monkey Bling. My mom says it is not bling. She says it is a Christmas Ornaphant… or something. She wants to hang it on the tree in our house. But I pee on that tree when she isn’t watching. I wish she would put a red hydrant in. Those are better.

Mom said the monkey bling is from my Uncle Ed. But I KNOW my Uncle Ed.  He lives in a place called Saddle.  Saddle Washing Tin.  Now…. HE would send me BLING. He wears cute shoes sometimes. And has impeccable taste.

Mom keeps calling him a chicken egg for some reason. She says… “Boy, that Eddie… he sure is a good egg.” I just can’t break it to her… that he is not a chicken at all.

She also keeps banging her head on the wall… and say she has been remissing. I didn’t see her try shoot baskets or anything… so I don’t know how she keeps missing over and over. But she shuffles around here saying… “I have been remiss in calling Eddie…. he sure is a chicken egg.”

Or something like that.

I tell you. Humans confuse the heck out of me. You people never sniff each other’s butts. And I have never once seen you drink out of the porcelain swirly bowl… with the silver handle. I love to drink from there. And when is the last time you circled three times before you lay down? Everyone knows you MUST do this…. prior to laying down.

No… I will never understand people. But I love them. Especially my Moms, and my Uncle Ed.  And his Monkey Bling.

Love,  Ollie


 “True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.” – Albert Einstein

Dec 16

Do You Tweet?

Feed Em.

We feed the birds. Like crazy.

My Grandma Kronenberger used to say…. “If you feed the birds, you’ll never go hungry.” At least I think she said this.

For some reason, I have this memory… yet…. she died when I was three. My Dad never told me differently though. But I do have memories of her.

So I’m still running with it. Feed the dang birds, and you’ll never go hungry.

I like to watch them too. Any time, any where. They fly through the air with the greatest of ease. This, in itself…. is amazing to me.

Now… there are certain kinds I am partial to. Little birds mostly. The Tufted Titmouse, and the Chickadee. I love a little Carolina Wren. And Nuthatches… are WAY cool.

And who can refuse a Woodpecker.

So…. with all this… I begin the 12 days of Christmas.  It is FULL of birds.

Now… I KNOW this isn’t supposed to start until AFTER Christmas…. but no one wants to hear all this after the fact. So…. 12 before. To get there by Christmas Day… and my late start…. here are the first three.

First Day. Partridge in a Pear Tree. (They were out of Apple Trees at the Nursery, no doubt.)
Second Day. Two Turtle Doves. (Cross breeding gone bad. They can’t fly so good with those shells on.)
Third Day. Three French Hens. (Nice enough… but you can’t understand a word they are saying. Partly because of their accents… the other because they always have croissants stuffed in their beaks.)

Which brings us back to feeding the birds.
A good idea…. no matter what nationality the bird may be.

I imagine this probably goes for people…. too.

“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Dec 15

The Legend of Stag Hill




The Blair Witch Project
Part II: Legend of Stag Hill, CAMDEN, Ohio

“Did you hear that?”
“What WAS that??”
“Oh Deer. I don’t know.”
“Let’s get the Buck out of here….”
“Right… we better make tracks.. right now.”
“C’mon….. Hoof It…..”

The pack was never seen or heard from again.
It was deep in the dark of night.

I fear that someone used No-Does.

“Things are never quite as scary when you’ve got a best friend.” – Bill Watterson

Dec 14

Do the math.



Math equation for tonight.

What is 4 x 1.

Nope. Not four. Before you guess again, perhaps I should clarify the equation.

What are four grandkids, visiting our house…. in one day?
Answer…. Priceless. To Infinity and Beyond.

Today was a stellar day, I’ll tell you. Some days are like that. It was better than pancakes with warm maple syrup and melted butter. Better than Baby Koala Bears. Heck…. even better than Sock Monkeys on a Ferris Wheel.   Yessssiiirrrreeee.

This afternoon… and evening…. we decorated Christmas ornaments like it was nobody’s business.

I don’t mean to be a braggart….. but boy oh boy…. do we ever have a way with glitter, glue, and paint! Actually, more ended up on the floor than on the ornaments. It was like a reverse of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. Sorta.

Plus, we added a big spill of a Sprite… just to make extra, extra sure things were really sticking.

A sidebar about the History of Ornaments…..

Folks in Europe started decorating trees, with apples and such… during the 15th & 16th centuries.

Yet….. Christmas wasn’t widely celebrated in the United States until the 1800s…. mostly because of the Puritans’ influence.   Because of this…. decorated trees did not become widely popular until people saw the ornaments brought to America by families emigrating from Germany and England.  This was in the 1840s.

Ornaments became a big hit. F.W. Woolworth (The mogul of five-and-dime fame) had reluctantly stocked his stores with German-made ornaments in 1880.

It paid off for the old boy.  By 1890, he was selling $25 million worth of ornaments at nickel and dime prices.

Okay… BACK to OUR house.  A pot of Chili…. and all seemed very right with the world.

You know, sometimes I get overwhelmed with the things that are not going right in the world. Way overwhelmed.

But it is days like these that make it all seem so upright and good.
And I am thankful for that.

I am grateful that Santa talked the Puritans into a bowl of Egg Nog.  And…..I am very glad…. that I am so adept in mathematic equations. I like when it all adds up.

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.” – Immanual Kant

Dec 13

Beauty, Beast, In Tune

The connect

Tonight I am thinking about connections.

We are getting home late tonight from a high school & middle school band concept. So this evening’s entry will be brief.

But connections. One of the songs the 7th graders played at the concert…. was from Beauty & the Beast. And that was the thing that started my thinking. Beauty & the Beast were the unlikeliest of friends. Yet, despite their obvious obstacles of separation…… they realized a strong connection.

And therein lies the whole of it. Sometimes we connect with people, with friends, or family, or mere acquaintances, for no apparent reason. You can’t really put your finger on it. When or how it happened. But you know it is there. You know that friend holds a special meaning in your heart.

Yet.  The friendship comes from an unknown bond. It sometimes comes to you in the form of a fountain of ways. Other times…. it is a slow roasted drip.

And that friendship can cross the miles… from ocean to ocean…. or it could be right next door.

Those are but one of the many treasures in life. And I am so glad for those treasures. Those connections. No matter the where, then when, the why or the how.

Somehow, you are always certain of the who.

“Nonsense and beauty have close connections.” – E.M. Forster

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” – Jim Morrison


Dec 12

Happy Elephant Day

Ellie Phant

Tonight I attended a community dinner event. A Christmas Dinner Potluck. It was very nice.

Yet… at the end of the dinner…. once again …. it came. Like a deep, dank fog, that rolls through the streets and overthrows an entire sleeping city. Yes… the DREADED White Elephant Gift Exchange.

How did this tradition start? I wondered.

Well as it turns out…. the exchange is aptly named for the idiom itself. Or rather… it is named for the ACTUAL origins of the term… White Elephant.

Yes. As many of you know…… a white elephant is an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession. (The key word here is burdensome.) And because of this…… the owner cannot dispose of it. OR…..the cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.

The term originally derives from a story of long, long ago. You see…. the kings of Siam (which is now Thailand) had such items. So…. they would make a present of one of these animals to certain courtiers or squires or attendants.  The kings had grown tired of these people because it seems.. … these courtiers had rendered themselves obnoxious.

The long and short of it is this….. the kings wanted to ruin the recipient with the gift. The sheer cost of its maintenance would put them under.

And there you have it.

So now we have a tradition based on this tradition. The good old White Elephant. Well… it is enough to put anyone under… I’ll tell you.

But today…. was actually a day filled with many gifts. In other places and in other forms. Today was December 12th…. all day long. And that was the day that my kindred spirit was born… my soul mate.

And that… is by far… the most beautiful day of the year to me. An amazing and wonderful gift of life.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Dec 11

Moose on the Loose, Mouse on the House….


Tis the season. Trending this year again, is the old Elf on the Shelf. I don’t know how long this little entity has been around, but I had never heard of such a thing prior to a few years ago. Elf on the Shelf.

A tradition for the kids. Welllllllll….. from what I have seen on Facebook and the news… I tend to think it is more for the parents. Maybe.

Here lately, we are seeing the Elf on the Shelf doing all sorts of things. From pooping on cookies…. to riding the Miley Cyrus wrecking ball. Now I ask you. What would Santa think. Surely, this was not the intended purpose of that little dude.

Cavorting about all night. Drinking beer, watching Barbie videos, landing head-first and bluto… in a bag of M&Ms. And worse.

Breaking News: The Elf has admitted several personal addictions and is off to rehab. I kid you not. Enough was enough. The intervention was inevitable.

So in his place…. the Monkey on the Mantle.

Yes. My pal…. Joey Nichols.. .. is the NEW Christmas Go-To Guy…..

Nothing lewd or risqué from him. Just good old wholesome, Christmas fun.
One Funky Monkey… jingling all the way. Santa’s eyes and ears. Reporting to Claus’ at the North Pole.

You never know WHERE he will show up.
So you better watch out. You better not cry…
He’ll sock it to you.

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” – Yogi Berra