Friday, May 31, 2013

Minor Accident, Then The World's Most Extreme Temper Tantrum

There was a minor car accident somewhere in Spain recently.

That doesn't seem like a big deal. A car hit some sort of metal thing on the side of of the road, and the car's metal grill got caught on the debris.

But the ten-minute video shot from a nearby apartment building is an absolute classic. Watch the guy who was driving the car have the world's most epic meltdown over the crash, destroying the car in the process.

Yes, it's a ten minute video, but worth watching every minute. It's amazing how long someone could sustain such a destructive temper tantrum.  It's a wonder he didn't just keel over.

It's amazing what happens at the end.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To Stop People From Peeing On Your Building

A locksmith business in Allentown, Pennsylvania had a problem.

A corner at the back of their building was the perfect place, in a lot of peoples' minds, to take a quick pee out of sight of passersby and without having to find a proper restroom in some building somewhere.
Guy tries to pee against building, building pees
on him.   

The people in the locksmith business didn't like this. Who wants the smell of stale pee wafting into your workspace all day? They needed to solve the problem.

What they did was ingenious. They set up a security camera, and anytime someone started to pee on the corner of the building, the building would pee on the pee-ers.

Well, it was just water coming off the building, but a lot of it.

The business put together a NSFW highlight video of a people peeing and getting peed on by the building.  It's hilarious.

This post won't please the commenter on one of my previous blog posts, which showed a flash flood roaring through a building. She said that video made her want to pee. This will be worse.

Here's the video, just for laughs:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Incredible Video of Flood Surging Into College

Here's quite a surveillance video of a flash flood sweeping through Carl Sandburg College in Illinois this week.

The water builds and builds outside the office until it's too much for the doors to handle, and in the water comes. What a mess.

There's been nasty flooding everywhere, so it's not surprising there's destruction everywhere.

One thing that impresses me about this video is how long the lights and the computers stay on, despite the white water surging into the building.

Incredible Bear Knows His Tricks

Here's a random video about a bear that really knows how to do some amazing tricks.

Who needs a smart dog when you can have a smart bear?

Maybe I should  go out in the woods, grab a bear and teach him some tricks.

Watch the video below before deciding how to answer the question.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eat Mo' Bugs, Says UN. Vermont Mosquitoes, Anyone?

Well, I suppose this is one way to fight hunger, global warming and pollution, at least according to the United Nations: Eat bugs.

Doesn't sound appetizing, but that's what they're saying,. Apparently, eating bugs will solve a whole bunch of ills. According to the Associated Press:
 Could mosquitoes become the new Vermont cuisne

"Edible insects are being promoted as a low-fat, high-protein food for people, pets and livestock. According to the U.N., they come with appetizing side benefits: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and livestock pollution, creating jobs in developing countries and feeding the millions of hungry people in the world."

Up in Vermont, we had more rain in one week in May than we usually get in two months. It's supposed to turn warm and humid. So the black flies and mosquitoes will be as thick as molasses.

We will be eaten alive by these awful things. But, if we take the UN report to heart, we can turn the tables and eat the mosquitoes.

I have questions, though, since I'm so inexperienced with the ways of bug eating. First of all, exactly how do you harvest them? It seems counter productive to catch them as they're biting you.  You're not the one that is supposed to be eaten.

Assuming you catch all the mosquitoes you need for a meal, how exactly do you prepare it. Fry them? Make a stew out of them? A pate?

What ingredients compliment the taste of mosquitoes? Or, probably more accurately, mask the taste of mosquitoes. I've never eaten mosquito, obviously, so I don't honestly don't know what to do.

Are there experts? Is there a mosquito cookbook? Does Rachel Ray have a whole book of mosquito recipes, full of quick, easy and tasty mosquito dinners?

Maybe they should use mosquitoes in the list of strange ingredients in the cooking competition show "Chopped." on the Food Network

The bottom line is, the field of insect and mosquito cuisine is still in its infancy. Any cooks out there want to experiement?

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Introduction to South Dakota

I'm not really well traveled. In fact, I'd never been west of the Mississippi River. Until today.

I'm writing this from Yankton, South Dakota, where I'm visiting the in laws and other relatives and friends.
We stopped in Vermillion,  South Dakota today on the way
from the Sioux Falls airport to Yankton, where I will spend the week.
Vermillion reminds me a lot of Bristol, Vermont

I've only been in South Dakota for a few hours, but I'm impressed.

Where my hosts see flat, featureless plains, I see a unique beauty. On the drive from the airport in Sioux Falls to Yankton, the landscape was fascinating.

 I didn't have much time to take pictures today, but I will try the rest of the week.

The scenes were beautiful because they were simple.

An isolated tree in a vast cornfield. A church poking up above the plains with a huge expanse of open landscape and nothing else around it.  A crumbling, abandoned farmhouse collapsing slowly and gracefully in a small thicket of trees.   You could see forever, and watch the cloud formations seemingly 100 miles away.

We stopped for lunch on the way to Yankton in the small town of Vermillion, South Dakota. I felt at home there, in large part because its downtown looked a lot like Bristol, Vermont.

There are quirks in South Dakota that I'm not used to in Vermont. There's quite a few small scale casinos and rather shady looking payday loan centers interspersed among the solid, stolid old businesses in sedate small towns across the state.

And my inner fifth grader came out when I saw the bad humor in the name of a Sioux Falls convenience store. It is called "Kum and Go."  I am not making this up.

I left Vermont at the end of a week of record rainfall and flooding that finally broke on Monday. I arrived in South Dakota to the beginning of what promises to be a  week of flooding,  severe storms and a tornado threat. I feel like that guy who always has a raincloud above him.

Yankton seems like the most peaceful community in the world in which to live, even if it has a minimum security federal prison in a former college smack dab in the middle of town.

Even the prison is relaxing. It is gorgeous,  with tree-lined, park like grounds, with prisoners milling about outside, just chilling. The inmates are all white collar or non-violent convicts, so there's little physical threat to the public.

The prison grounds are so beautiful I almost want to commit a crime. Almost.

I'm staying at Jeff's parents' house, which is adjacent to a beautiful golf course. They have a sunroom, which looks out into the course. Jeff's parents say they often get up early and sit in the sunroom, just enjoying the scenery. I can see why.

We probably won't do much out here in Yankton. Let's face it, Yankton is not Manhattan. Heck, it's not even Manhattan, Kansas. But that's the point. Sometimes we need a place that's calm, solid, homey, quiet.

It's been a tumultuous few weeks in Jeff's life, and in my life. We've both been working our butts off. He's been traveling all over the place, working. We lost our beloved dog Bailey a few days ago.  

The friendly quiet of Yankton is going to be the perfect place to recover and recharge.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Don't Let The Neighbors Borrow The Police Cruiser

Municipal police departments are wise to embrace community policing, you know, getting to know the neighbors, the neighborhoods, all the people who live there.
Note to police departments: Don't let the kids
drive your police cruisers  

It builds alliances, and making it more likely people will cooperate if they suspect something illegal is going on.

But community policing can be taken way, way, way, too far. Take Valley Falls, Kansas. In a bid to increase community involvement, they started an auxillary police force to go on patrol in police cruisers.

You can see where this is headed already, can't you?

Let's go to television station WIBW in Topeka, to get a quote about what the appropriately named Doug Wildeman allegedly did during his stint as a cruiser driving auxillary cop:

"He was turning the siren on and off, the headlights on and off, the flashers on and and off, hit the airhorn a couple times," said witness Lee Kahn of Valley Falls. "He floored it and he gunned it at maximum speed. I assumed it was a police officer so I came to City Hall to file a written complaint, only to find out it wasnt even a police officer driving the car, that it was a civilian."

Residents also alleged Wildeman was driving around in the cruiser with a girl on his lap.

You sexy dog, you!

The City Council in Valley Falls has decided to abandon the idea of letting civilians drive around in police cruisers, which is probably a good idea. Though if anybody had a video camera, it would have made a good beginning for a revival of the TV show "Dukes of Hazzard."

The police chief in Valley Falls also might be looking for a new job soon, WIBW reported.

So, yes, it's good to have Officer Friendly hang out with the teens hanging around downtown. But maybe they should keep the keys to their cruisers, just to be on the safe side.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bailey Modereger-Sutkoski 2000-2013

The sweet golden dog Bailey Modereger-Sutkoski, 13 in human years, died peacefully after a short illness Saturday with his loving dads and brother Jackson the cocker spaniel with him to send him off.
Bailey enjoying a windy autumn day last November.   

Bailey was proud of his reputation as a bit of an International Dog of Mystery.  His origins are indeed murky, though it appeared he was a handsome mix of Huskie and maybe some golden retreiver, or possibly Malamute.

His soulful brown eyes melted hearts where ever Bailey went

He lived with another  family who obviously loved Bailey and kept him well cared for over a number of years.

However,  the family had to very reluctantly relinquish Bailey in 2012 because they could no longer financially care for him.

By that time, Bailey had become fast friends with Jackson at his doggie day care in Milton. Jackson introduced Bailey to his dads, Jeff Modereger and Matt Sutkoski.

Since Bailey needed a new home, Jackson asked his dads if the family could adopt Bailey.  Jeff and Matt enthusiastically agreed and never regretted it.

Never one to focus on the past, Bailey offered us few clues as to what his life was like before he moved in with his dads and Jackson around the first of July, 2012.  He settled quickly and happily into his new home.

Bailey was pleased that his new digs were situated on an exposed, breezy hillside. He loved to spend time standing in the yard, facing the wind, the gusts blowing through his gold and white mane. He savored all the different aromas wafting in the breeze.

At various times during the day, Bailey also liked to slowly explore his grassy yard, just looking and smelling for whatever went on in the course of the day.

Bailey also loved his morning routine, which involved heading outdoors in the cold, predawn hours with Jackson and usually with his sleepy but still loving and patient dad Jeff at 4 or 5 a.m. In those early morning outdoor jaunts,  Bailey reminded Jeff about the beauty and miracle of each new morning.

Later, when dad Matt was up and pecking away at his laptop in his office, Bailey always came into the room for kisses, a neck rub, then a vigorous belly rub.  Bailey knew that all work was no way to go, so he made sure every morning to remind Matt that belly rubs were much better and more important than the latest news.
Bailey enjoying a nice snooze in the warm indoors
on a frigid day in January, 2013.  

Bailey's morning routine was complete when he chowed down his breakfast, always with gusto, then he'd settle down next to Jeff, who would be enjoying his morning coffee.

Bailey was the quiet, zen-like Yin to his brother Jackson's rambunctious Yang. They were an odd couple, but a happy one. Jackson liked to enthusiastically and playfully bat at Bailey's neck and face, which Bailey accepted for awhile, until a quick, authoritative growl would settle Jackson down.

Bailey also loved spending time at Deja Vu Dog Kennels for the day while his dads were at work, playing with his brother Jackson and the other dogs cavorting at the day care.

Settling into somewhat old age by the time he arrived in St. Albans, Bailey also liked to curl up in his comfortable bed in the living room as his dads watched TV, then move to another bed in the bedroom to be close to his dads as they turned in for the night.

Healthy until the last two weeks of his life, though a bit deaf, Bailey would often snuggle up to dads Jeff or Matt, seeking and getting a sense of security in the aromas the two men picked up during the day.

During his illness over the last two weeks, Bailey was stoic and uncomplaining, as he always was. His dads were understandably distressed by Bailey's sudden poor health, but despite his own pain and discomfort, Bailey always went out of his way to try to ease his dads' worries and tell them everything will be OK.

Bailey is survived by his dads, Jeff Modereger and Matt Sutkoski of St. Albans, Vermont, his brother, Jackson the cocker spaniel, also of St. Albans, Vermont, his special, dear friend Barb Brodhead of Deja Vu Kennels in Milton, Vermont; his (Jeff) grandparents Donald and Lois Modereger of Yankton, South Dakota; his (Matt) grandparents, Henry and Pauline Sutkoski of West Rutland, Vermont; many loving aunts, uncles, and other human relatives, and very many human and canine friends.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate to their local animal shelter, Humane Society or any organization that shows love and support to dogs and all other animals.

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Weather Whiplash" A New Hazard, It Seems

I've been hearing the term "weather whiplash" bandied around lately, considering how the weather seems to be shifting in all kinds of weird directions and incredibly abruptly.

It can happen in a day, like the time last month went from 90 degrees to a freeze and snow within 12 hours.
High water cascades over a falls in Fairfax, Vermont
as the state has gone from near-drought to damaging
flood in less than a week  

The Midwest has been classic, going from major flooding, to major drought back to major flooding again from 2011 and 2013.

We just experienced this whiplash here in Vermont. It has been quite dry, and it looked as if we were headed toward a drought just a few days ago.

Now, we've got a destruction flash flood, and it's supposed to rain, a lot, over the next three days, raising fears of more flooding.

It seems every year now, we in Vermont get a storm that wipes out a bunch of roads and bridges.

Now it's happened again.

We had midsummer humidity yesterday and the day before. Today, it's a March-like 45 degrees, and it might snow in the mountains this weekend. Yes, Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.

We used to say if you don't like the weather in Vermont, wait a minute and it will change. Now, I guess you have to say if you don't like the weather anytime, anywhere, wait a minute, it will become more extreme.

What's next for Vermont? Dust storms and tidal waves?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meanwhile, In The Mall Parking Lot, A FIGHT!!

Talk about a "security guard" not being able to secure a situation!

Near a mall in Ohio, a truck rolled off a road and plunged into a deep ravine. From the vantage point of a nearby mall parking lot on a hill, people started taking pictures of the wreck.
...and Action! Biker lady tackles obnoxious
security guard. Nobody behaved well here.  

But a mall security guard wasn't having it, no siree!

See, taking pictures from anywhere on the mall property is Just. Not. Allowed. Because....because.....well, probably no reason, but rules are rules!

So our security guard goes into action. Hilarity ensues. The picture takers think the security guard is pathetically funny. They're right.

Our guard threatens to take the cameras away.  Like she could do that. Especially with that tough looking crowd.

She demands everybody leave. She demands everyone delete their pictures. Nobody complies. She threatens to call the cops and have the picture takers arrested. Everyone shrugs.

Finally, our security guard gets just a wee bit too much into the face of a biker chick. Probably not a good idea.  The biker chick reacts like you'd expect.

And so we get this very, very, classy video of some high class people doing high class things near a high class mall near a high class ravine.

So far, no charges have been filed, but the security guard has been fired

Enjoy the following clip of people, especially an inept security guard, behaving badly.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Adjusters Arrive At House Fires Before Firefighters

Well, this seems unsavory.

Reports out of Florida say adjusters, the people who help property owners navigate insurance and recovery after disasters, and repair contractors are showing up at house fires at the same time as firefighters get there, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel
If this were your house, would you want
an adjuster and contractors pestering you
to sign a contract for their services
at this moment?

There, as the house burns and firefighters struggle to contain the flames, the adjusters pressure the distraught homeowner to sign on with them and not talk to any competitors.

As a person who last week had to make major medical decisions about my dog who was critically ill, the midst of a crisis is not the best time to make rational choices.

So if somebody's house is burning, they're probably not thinking clearly about the pro and cons of which adjuster or contractors will do the best job.

Which is probably what some of these crooked adjusters have in mind. Hey, if you can't think it through, you can't ask the hard questions.

The adjusters say they arrive early because the homeowner is still there while the house is burning, but won't be there once it's out, because the house is uninhabitable.

Adjusters can be helpful, The Consumerist notes. After all, they can help people navigate the maze of insurance settlements, hiring contractors, overseeing cleanup and repair, etc.

But still. The fire truck chasers, like ambulance chasers, are kind of gross. How do they sleep at night?

Anything to make money, I guess

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scariest Moore, OK Tornado Vid Yet: Seen Overhead From Shelter Window

This video just popped up from that huge tornado in Oklahoma.

Somebody had a small window in their storm shelter in Moore and filmed what went on. They were just outside the outer edge of the huge tornado.

You can see that although it wasn't hitting them directly, it was causing quite a bit of damage in their neighborhood. But at least the houses are still (sort of) standing

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Neighbors Lawn Needs Mowing, So Guy Burns Down Offending Neighbor's House

I was in trouble until yesterday.

I've been dashing from crisis to crisis this week, which meant some things I really should have gotten done weren't completed.
The worst part of my lawn, and my lawnmower, a
few days ago after I let the lawn's growth
get ahead of me.  

One of the things that didn't get attention until yesterday was parts of my lawn. I hadn't had time to mow some of it lately, and it was a hayfield.

Normally, I'd be just annoyed with myself for not getting to the lawn, and it's not the World's Worst Sin to have a slightly unkempt lawn.

Or so I thought.

Then news surfaced from near Atlanta, Georgia last week,  where police say a man named Phillip Roger Bennett was upset about what he thought was the unkempt appearance of the lawn across the street from his place.

So he did what any other normal neighbor raving lunatic would do. He burned down the house with the supposedly unkempt, unmowed lawn.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Bennett kept his lawn very neat and tidy. The guy across the street, Marty Corbitt, did not. Bennett and Corbitt had been feuding about this state of affairs, apparently.

Bennett has a criminal past, and Corbitt called the cops after an argument over the lawns several days ago, and the fateful one last week, according to the Journal Constitution. Bennett returned, threw a brick through Corbitt's window, threw gasoline in and lit the Corbitt house on fire.

Corbitt and his three year old daughter escaped, but his house was destroyed.

Bennett is in big trouble: According to the AJC:

"Bennett is charged with first-degree arson, aggravated assault, first- and second-degree criminal damage to property, damaging public utilities, second-degree burglary, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, reckless conduct, criminal trespass and making terroristic threats."

Of course, I’m a little confused by some people’s obsession with a perfect lawn, even though everybody except Bennett is not quite so over the top with this. I don’t even like lawns all that much. I guess that makes me un-American.

And spending hours and hours and hours making sure a lawn looks like the world's top golf course with  nary a trace of crabgrass or a dandelion is absolutely foreign to me.

Still, this news about the unkempt lawn and the arson in Georgia got my attention. I finished mowing my lawn yesterday. It still isn't perfect, it never will be and I don't want it to be. But at least I think it's good enough that I don't think any of my neighbors will burn my house down because of my ugly lawn.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Instant Justice in Elephant Poaching Case

It's infuriating to read these constant stories about poachers gunning down endangered and magnificent animals like rhinos and elephants because idiots think if they get their hands on the animals tusks, or better yet injest them, they'll be strong, virile he-men.
Wildlife justice: Did an elephant fight
back againt a poacher, killing him?  

Of course it's obvious that anyone who would ingest parts of a tusk from such a beautiful creature is anything but a he-man. You'd think nobody would want them as a sexual partner.

Often, the poachers who kill these animals get away with the crime and make a tidy profit from the scumbags who would buy from them.

So it was delightful to read the story of instant justice:  A poacher was trampled by an elephant he was trying to kill, according to the Sunday Mail of Zimbabwe, via the Nothing To Do With Arborath Blog.

Hmm.  I keep hearing stories about the intelligence and cooperative nature of elephants among their herds, so I have to wonder if this was pure instinct at work on the part of the elephant. Maybe the elephant has a well developed sense of justice.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ducks Thwart Police Pursuit And Make Pursuing Officer Charming

Uh-oh, that guy on that rainy street in Portland, Oregon was doing 52 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Thank goodness a police officer was there to see the misdeed and pursue the lawbreaker. And we have the exciting dashcam video from the police cruiser to prove it!

But what's that? A complication in the pursuit. As you can see, Portland Police Officer Mark James was diverted to another issue that totally pre-empted the chase. Watch:

OK, the video is speeded up and music added to make things more exciting, but still.  Nice to see the officer has his priorities straight, and I'm not being facetious here.

We're told James got the ducks into a water filled ditch on the side of he road, and they swam away safely.

I love some of the comments on the YouTube page for this video. Here's a couple gems:

"Note to self: When deciding to rob a bank, load the car with ducks." (The theory being to push them out of the car to thwart any police pursuit.)

"This cop was just trying to fill his monthly duck saving quota."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is Kai, The Wild Hitchhiker and Best News Interview Subject Ever, Also A Murderer?

Back in February, I wrote about a guy who said his named is Kai, who was interviewed on a local news station after subduing a hatchet wielding assailant. The assailant was threatening other people near Fresno, Calif. and Kai managed to stop the assault.
This guy became an Internet celebrity in February.
Is he a murderer too?  

It was one of the most delicious, fun news interviews ever, and it was a joy to feature him in this blog thing. 

Kai seemed like such a mellow dude, even if his storytelling style was animated to say the least. (You've got to watch the video again in that February post)

But people surprise you. WABC-TV in New York says Kai is now wanted in the murder of a New Jersey man. 

Of course we don't know for sure yet if he actually did anything like that, but WABC says police are on the lookout for Kai, whose real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary.

According to WABC, McKillvary is McGillvary is "homeless but considers himself "homefree" and relies on the generosity of strangers for food, lodging and transportation."

The infamous Kai interview from February went super viral and he became one of those major accidental Internet celebrities who are quickly forgotten about, except in some future Trivial Pursuit games.

"Kai" is  accused of killing a guy named Joseph Galfy, Jr. in Clark, N.J., who was found dead in his home.

Somehow, if Kai is caught, I doubt if he will give another super animated interview about the accusations against him.

But you never know.

Worst Behavior On a Honeymoon Ever

Newlyweds love to skip town after their ceremony go to someplace romantic and beautiful and quiet, to get their marriage off to a rousing start.
Mohammed Ahmed is accused of
looking for variety while on his honeymoon. 

Naturally, you'd expect the happy couple to be pretty much into each other at this point, and any sexual activity would be between our happy couple.

Oh, but Mohammed Ahmed, 21,  of Illinois had different ideas for his honeymoon. God only knows how long he'd been with his wife before the actual marriage. He needed a change.

Maybe the sex was already a little stale and he wanted something new. So, while his brand new wife languished in a Florida hotel, our buddy Mohammed solicit a prostitute fron an on line ad.

I'm sure his new wife was so, so impressed!

The prostitute turned out to be an undercover detective, so Mohammed was arrested. The wife found out about this when she filed a missing persons report because her brand new husband didn't return to the hotel.

He didn' t return because he was being arrested for being a john!

So maybe as it turns out the wife didn't make the best choice in a man. Unless of course he's innocent of the charges. There are other fish in the sea, so to speak.

Maybe she can write her wedding ceremony with Mohammed as a practice run of sorts, so she can have the perfect wedding day in the future with a real man. One that, you know, has a bit of respect for his wife.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bailey The Dog Is Very Sick; I'm A Worried Parent

I've never had kids, but now I have a taste of the anguish parents feel when their kids get really sick.

Bailey, the sweet boy we adopted a year ago is very sick, and he seems to be getting worse. He stopped eating Saturday and it's been downhill from there.
Bailey just last week, when he was
still feeling good

The veterinarian thinks it's a really bad case of pancreatitis. Bailey is 13 years old, so this is not a good thing for a dog his age.

But, Bailey's a tough old guy, so we'll see what happens.

The vet's office spent the day yesterday controlling Bailey's fever, filling him up with fluids, flooding his system with antibiotics and giving him pain medication.

He actually seemed to rally a bit by evening. They had me take him home, because he'd be more comfortable in his own digs, ,and I'd bring him back to the veterinarian's office this morning for more treatment.

Bailey seemed OK for awhile last evening, but he spent most of the night crying in pain and fear. You feel so helpless, obviously. I wanted to fix it, but all I could do is gently rub is neck and back and tell him I was there.

Bailey always feels better when there's somebody nearby, so I think a lot of his yelping was his need for reassurance that I had his back. I was happy to oblige.

If I get so wrapped up in worrying about Bailey, I can't imagine what a parent who has a child with, say, cancer goes through.

My husband Jeff is out of town, working. He obviously wishes intensely he could be here. But he's been incredibly helpful via phone, via email. Jeff knows I'm upset about this, and he says and does exactly the right thing to make me feel better, and keeps bolstering my strength and optimism.

It's amazing how much love you can feel over a distance of 1,000 miles.

Barb, the woman who takes care our boys for us during the day while we are at work, has been incredibly helpful too. Her expertise and compassion is just incredible. So, with people like that around, this little crisis is certainly bearable.

And of course, I feel guilty because I'm screwing over other people, especially people I work, because I'm not where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to do. Somebody has to pick up the slack. My slack.
Bailey loves to stand outside and let the wind
blow through his fur.  

People have been patient with me, but still.

A certain other dog is being a very good boy, too. Jackson, our two year old cocker spaniel with the wild personality,  has been providing me with happy companionship and has been contributing lots of comic relief.

Last night, Jackson sensed I was a little upset when I tried to sleep for a little while. He cuddled up against me and licked my hand. Has Jackson been taking compassion lessons from Jeff and Barb?

I know all this sounds like a self pity party, and it is. This is a routine problem, a part of life for so many people. And it's trivial, given the unfortunate and sad, intense pain and suffering in the world. This little problem with Bailey throws into stark relief the good fortune I have.

I have the ability to keep Bailey as comfortable as possible in a warm, safe house. Incredible people are surrounding me and helping. We have the financial wherewithal, sort of anyway, to give Bailey some good medical care. No humans around me that I love are hungry, homeless, sick or suffering.

Which is a reminder that I'm better off than most people in this world.

I don't know if Bailey will pull through, or pass on. He did seem to rally just a bit as I coaxed him into the truck to return to the veterinarian's office this morning. The veterinarian just called me to report Bailey is hanging in there.

Bailey has lived us with a year since we adopted him.  Even if we lose him, he's given us a year of dog wisdom, joy, companionship, dog kisses, loyalty and love through his calm, steady and zen-like demeanor.

Which is another reason among many why I feel lucky and blessed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Air Passengers Will Always Hate The Woman They Met On Their Flight

News outlets were abuzz Monday about the world's least welcome rendition of the popular song "I Will Always Love You."

It turns out the song by Dolly Parton and popularized by Whitney Houston, was on this woman's heart and mind as she traveled on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York.

The problem was the woman sang the song, repeatedly and loudly, surely enough to make other passengers want to bust open the windows and leap out of the airplane high over Colorado or something.

Here's a brief video of the performance:

This was bad enough, of course. But it could have been worse. Imagine if she sang "Crash Into Me." or   "Free Falling" or even "Leaving on a Jet Plane"

The plane with our "I Will Always Love You:" lady  finally made an emergency landing in Kansas City and the woman, still belting out "I Will Always Love You," was escorted off the plane.

I suggest the surviving air passengers listen to something by Nirvana or Guns N Roses to finally get "I Will Always Love You out of their heads.

She was not arrested, but American Airlines, probably wisely refused to let her set foot on another of their planes so she could continue her trip. And her singing.

Media reports suggest she blamed her diabetes for the episode. Low blood sugar can cause odd behavior, it's true, but geez, somebody give her a cookie or something!

But then, she'd probably start repeatedly singing "Sugar Sugar by The Archies, and another flight would have to make an emergency landing, probably in Sugarland, Texas.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beautiful Short Film Showing How Dogs and Cats Live Better Than We Do

OK, let's get the complaints out of the way first. There's a point to this, trust me.

It's early Monday morning. I'm stressed. My husband just left for an out of town trip for work. He'll be gone for a week and I miss him already.
A promotional shot for the wonderful, beautiful
"Savour Every Moment" short film.  

One of our two dogs, the older, wiser one, Bailey, is sick. He won't eat, and he's lethargic. We don't know what's wrong. He's probably going to the veterinarian this afternoon. I'm terribly worried about him.

I'm behind with work and the work keeps piling up. I can't even find time to keep up with the messes I'm making, or break away for just a half hour to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription I need.


Alright, done with the complaints. Life isn't bad, of course, it's good. The problems outlined above are trivial. (Except for Bailey, of course)

All that said, I know I sometimes need to change my perspective. We all need that nudge some time.  I found a reminder, in the form of a beautiful short film,  on how to live that moved me to tears.

It's probably just my mood. But still.

Filmmaker Keith Hopkin has come up with a short film called "Savour Every Moment."  All it is is pretty much just dogs and cats playing, being goofy, having sublime, quiet moments.  Their lives seem so complete. I guess there's something to living in the moment.

Hopkin's  Facebook page also has lots of wonderful dog and other animal photos, to Savour some more

The notes on the YouTube video, which you will see at the bottom of this post, tell the story best:

"Dogs and cats seem to possess some inner secret to enjoying life.

They're able to savour every single moment of the day; all the fun moments, and the goofy ones. The playful moments, the loving moments. If our pets could talk, they might tell us: "When you're happy, don't forget to tell your face. Napping is beauty sleep for the soul. Eat like nobody's watching."

Oh, how I wish I could learn to live like that more often!  We all do. The animals in the video are giving us a primer on how to do that, and so do my Boys, Jackson the Cocker Spaniel and Bailey the Wonder Dog.

Jackson and Bailey often make me stop my work, my responsibilities, my obligations, to tussle with a toy, enjoy a nice chest or back rub, or just cuddle on the floor or couch.

They try really hard to tell me to live like this all the time, not just sometimes.

I know I can't live like them, of course. Humans have to be "productive" and "responsible"  I wonder if that frustrates the Boys, or do they just patiently live their happy, in the moment lives, hoping I finally catch on?

At least the Boys, and the film in this post, give us a chance to take a deep breath and just live. And smile. And that's something.

Here's the wonderful video. It's your lesson for your Monday

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crayons' "True Colors" Revealed, In a Depressing Way

Are the color names on Crayola crayons too cheerful for you?  Are the colors "lemon yellow"" "raw sienna" and "Caribbean green" just too pleasant and optimistic?
Try these crayons for the depressed artist on
your gift list  

Well, you're in luck. Found on a blog called "What To Do After Survival" via  BoingBoing are alternative names for some crayons.

How about "court ordered urine sample yellow."

Maybe "bong water brown"?

"Moral ambiguity gray" might make a good color for storm clouds, mental or otherwise.

And for a really depressing drawing, try "void of existential anguish black"

I'm sure these colors will go over big in kindergarten classes nationwide.

Or not.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stealing Flowers: Angering the Gardeners Will Cost You

I admit it, stealing flowers from people's yards isn't exactly the most heinous crime in the world. I mean, compare a few missing lilacs and daffodils to serial killers and terrorist bombers, and you get a bit of perspective.

But still, I can see how Washington DC gardeners are infuriated by a persistent flower thief in their midst. 
My garden in St. Albans, Vermont begins to
grow last week. Hands off, please.  

As an avid gardener who fortunately lives in a place where it is somewhat impractical to steal too many flowers and plants, I can see how people would be livid if the plants they nurtured were vandalized or stolen.

The psychological point of gardening is to labor in the dirt and the mess and to look ugly doing it so you end up with something beautiful.

So when someone steals your reward, namely the flower that is there because of your work, you get livid.

The New York Times article says the thief is elusive, and may be trying to resell his loot at flower shops. My guess is some flower shops might be a little unethical and don't ask questions about where this guy gets his flowers.

Police say they can't make arrests unless the thief is caught red handed. There's nothing illegal with walking down the street holding a flower, and if there's no obvious evidence the flower was stolen, there's not much you can do.
A daffodil in my garden says hi.  

I suppose it's possible somebody will come on my property and steal flowers, but it's in an impractical place to steal, so I'll just have to contend with the insects and the little varmint animals that occasionally damage my plants. And my dog Jackson, who recently decided some of my daffodils weren't yellow enough, so he peed on some of them.

I also must credit New York Times writer Jennifer Steinhauer with her way with words in her report on the flower thievery in Washington. You can't beat her references to thief's "ill gotten begonias" and "one-man flower power grab."

Anyway, I hope they catch the Washington DC flower thief and stop him before somebody drives a garden spade through his heart.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Old Gay Guinness Ad Gets New Life, Shows How World Has Changed

There's a hilarious, wonderful  old advertisement from Guinness, the British brewer,  that was made in 1995 that is suddenly a huge hit.

It also wants to make me run out for a pint of Guinness, just to say thanks. The ad is viewable at the bottom of this post. So worth a view.
A still from a great 1995 Guiness ad  

Here's the back story: The advertisement depicts a bit of an odd couple. To the tune of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" playing in the background, we see a businessman type getting ready for work, and he's a total slob.

Implied at first, is a partner in the house who is much more clean and organized. It becomes clear as the ad goes along that it's not the sloppy businessman's wife that's the clean person, but the guy's gay partner.

The ad was considered too risque back in 1995, at least judging from the backlash it received from the British tabloids at the time. They attacked it before it even aired. My goodness, a gay couple in a beer commercial? Our sensibilities are killing us!

So the ad was quietly shelved. But Guinness or somebody put the ad on YouTube recently, and it went viral.

I love, LOVE this ad. It's sexy and funny and warm and tells a wonderful story. And how can you EVER possibly exceed the wonderfulness of Tammy Wynette singing "Stand By Your Man.." It has to be one of the best songs and performances the world has ever seen.

That the ad is now popular also shows the way the world has become more accepting of the LGBT community. In 1995, you would have been laughed out of the room if you suggested a gay couple could marry.

Now, gay marriage is legal in 11 of the 50 states, and several countries. I married the best guy in the world last August, and couldn't be happier. And I couldn't be more thankful for the wonderful support and good wishes Jeff and me have received.

So after work tonight, I'll hoist a Guinness their advertisement,  life, marriage and my husband Jeff

Watch the ad below:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dog's Water Bowl Is Fire Hazard

Hey, you need to make sure you give your dogs a constant, plentiful supply of water.

A couple in Santa Rosa, California was doing just that and almost burned their house down as a result.
Who knew? It turns out a dog bowl like this
is a fire hazard, if the sun hits it just right.  

They had one of those nice shiny metal water bowl and left it out on the deck for their pooch to take a sip anytime he wanted to.

Then the couple noticed a bit of smoke. The metal bowl focused the sun so intensely on an exterior wall that it burst into flames. 

Yikes! Who knew just a simple kindness to a dog could be so dangerous.

Luckily, the couple was home to quickly spot the fire, the fire department showed up fast, and the house suffered minimal damage.

I've got a bowl just like the one that started the California fire. Jackson and Bailey love it.

Still,   I think I'll move the bowl. Or just get a plastic one. On bright mornings, the sun shines through a glass door onto the bowl in the kitchen. I don't need any hot times at my house.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Four Men, Four Ideas, Possibly Four Bad Ideas

Today, we offer four men with four unique ideas who are pursuing their goals with gusto.

You gotta admire that.

The only questions are whether the ideas are indeed good ones, or are they on to something?

I hate to be negative and shoot down some unique ideas, but I feel like I must critique these guys anyway.

Our first man recently appeared in the Huffington Post as a man holding a sandwich board, advertising for a wealthy woman who he would like to become his bride.
This guy's looking for a wealthy
bride. Think he'll get her?

On the whole, this is a good idea, as you do want to put yourself out there, making as big a pool of people aware that you're available. That's why God created, Grindr and swingles bars.

However, I might be working with stereotypes here, but if you're marketing toward a certain demographic, namely wealthy women, you've got make your advertising appeal to them.

I don't know if his sign accomplishes this. I'm guessing these wealthy women would respond to a sign or logo that suggests luxury, but the sign looks battered, as if it was a piece of debris from a tornado.

Though I'm no expert, trust me. Tornado debris does not attract wealthy women, unless they want to donate money to the storm victims.

The lettering on the sign has an messy, unkempt quality to it, so I don't know if that's helping. And his telephone number has obviously changed, with a piece of paper over the original sign displaying the new number. It just seems amateurish.

Our next man's idea is one of kindness. He wanted to take his girlfriend and her two children on a Disney cruise ship. Sounds very nice. And generous. We all like kind, generous people, right?

Here's the problem: At the last minute our guy, Cedrick Royce Swinson, 37, of Charlotte, N.C. discovered   some money he anticipated didn't come through. He apparently said it was in the bank, but for some reason didn't have access to it for withdrawal.

He didn't want to disappoint the girlfriend or her kids, especially since they were already in Florida on the way to the trip, so to come up with the money, he robbed a credit union, according to Florida Today.

The Florida Today article included the perspective of the girlfriend and the kids after the failed bank robbery:

"She was horrified and the children were upset. They watched as we took him into custody. They drove here overnight from Charlotte for a cruise. But they didn't know he was going to do this," said (Satellite Beach Police Cmdr Brad) Hodge, adding that police were searching Swinson's bank records to verify his claim."

Hmm. I wonder if they'll let Swinson watch Disney movies from jail, as sort of a consolation.

This guy's eyes are closed. He tattooed images
of eyes on his eyelids.  
Next we go to Chicago, where a man named Cesar Ruelase is going through extraordinary efforts to demote popular Chicago television meteorologist Tom Skilling to something called "weather guesser."

It seems Ruelase is frustrated by some fairly inaccurate weather forecasts of late. 

I'm not sure what changing Skilling's title would do to improve weather forecasts, but I guess you have to try something. And since weather is inherently unpredictable, I don't thing there's a chance Ruelase will ever get 100 percent accurate forecasts all the time.

And you can bank on the prediction I just made.

Finally, we have a man who's come up with the perfect solution for those of you who fall asleep at work during long, boring meetings, yet the Powers That Be expect you to be fully alert while they drone on with the PowerPoint presentation of the marketing department's annual budget projections

A man has tattooed an image of open eyes on his eyelids. When he closes his eyes, it looks like his eyes are open. Photo is here on this post.

I think I'd rather just fall asleep during the staff meeting and let nature takes it course.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Could This Be My Perfect Summer Job?

In a job posting that at intial glance sounds just perfect for me, they're looking for someone who loves the outdoors and has a loud voice.

That's me!
A nice cool summer job is available in Norway
if you are good at spotting one of these.  

The summer job in question is for a Norwegian polar bear spotter.

The polar bear spotter is needed so that researchers on a remote island can do their work without constantly looking over their shoulders to see any polar bears that might think the researchers are lunch.

Of course, the fine print for the job posting has one necessary qualification that might put me at a disadvantage. First of all, the successful candidate needs to have good polar bear spotting skills.

I don't know what that means. If such skills refer to seeing a big white bear and going, "Oh, my gosh! That's a polar bear!" I can do that. But I don't know if there's more to it than that.

The best candidate for this job should also be proficient with firearms, just in case the polar bear manages to attack.

That could be problematic, because I fear I might be clumsy with guns.

On the bright side, the people offering the job say the polar bear spotter might not ever have to use a firearm "as long as they have a loud voice."

I hope the job application isn't in Norwegian.

Mr. Sno Cone vs. Mr. Ding a Ling: Ice Cream Truck War Turns Vicious

My favorite news headline of past few weeks comes from the Albany, New York, Times Union:

"Cops: Sno Cone Joe Stalked Mr. Ding a Ling. 

The story itself, by Bryan Fitzgerald,  is as entertaining as the headline, as long as you are not Gloversville, New York's version of Mr. Ding A Ling, the ice cream truck guy.
Police say this guy, an ice cream truck driver
wants NO competition along his route
in Gloversville, New York.  

Who knew the ice cream truck business could be so cutthroat?

It seems Mr. Sno Cone, also known by his real name, Joshua Malatino, does not like competition from other ice cream trucks in the fine community of Gloversville, and he does everything he can, apparently, to not let another ice cream truck roll into town.

Along comes Mr. Ding a Ling, also known as..... and the trouble began.

According to Fitzgerald's article:

"You don't have a chance!:" Malation yelled to the 53-year old Mr. Ding-a-Ling driver on one of his first days in Gloversville, according to court documents. "This is my town!"

It got worse:

"Police said Malatino called the Mr. Ding-A-Ling headquarters in Latham and told them 'I own this town!', claimed 'that this business controls the ice cream sales market in the city of Gloversville."

For the record, Gloversville officials allow any ice cream truck within its borders as long as they have the proper permits.

The Times Union says this isn't the first time Malatino has used strong arm tactics to control the Gloversville ice cream truck market.

"In the past, Malatino has been warned for this type of behavior," said Capt. John Sira, adding Malatino drove a different ice cream vendor truck out of town last summer.

"We warned him before that this type of behavior would not be tolerated,'" Sira said.

Malatino and his girlfriend, Amanda Scott, 21, are charged with harassment and misdemeanor stalking, police said.

Next time you hear that annoying, tinny sound of an ice cream truck approaching, remember, it might not be all sweetness and light. Behind the smiles and the ice cream could be a nasty business struggle that could make a mafia don blush.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rejoicing In My Spring Flowers

It's finally that time of year. When, instead of making sure my gardens are growing properly, or expanding, or have enough water, I'm chasing around the yard photographing the hell out of everything that's blooming.

That's par for the course in my life, but what are you going to do?  I might as well perserve some of the fruits of my labor for posterity.

So I take photographs

I took the photos in this post about three days ago. Since then, I've uploaded more than 150 from my camera, all of which I haven't processed yet. So there's more to come.

My camera had better not wear out.

Meanwhile, hope you like these floral moments from my gardens in St. Albans, Vermont

Friday, May 3, 2013

Will This Student's "Zero Tolerance" Case Finally Be The One That Ends the Insanity

A smart 16 year old girl in Bartow Florida named Kiera Wilmot did a dumb thing, as even the smartest teenagers sometimes do.
Kiera Wilmot's school is trying to ruin her
entire life because of her ill-conceived science
experiment which resulted in a tiny explosion and
no harm.  

Wilmot's a bit of a science geek so she mixed up some household chemicals in a bottle as a sort of ad hoc science experiment. It caused a really small explosion outside, away from everybody, and a little puff of smoke.

Nobody got hurt, and there was no property damage, and she didn't intend to cause any harm.

But, due to the school's zero tolerance laws,because of her actions, and she's as horrible a person as the Boston Marathon bomber, at least in the eyes of school administrators.

The promising student has been expelled, felony charges have been brought against her, which means Wilmot is probably going to basically lose her chance at a decent life if this sticks.

Yeah, go get her, school administrators. Kill that gnat with a nuclear bomb!

For its part, the Polk County School District is hiding behind the usual "rules are rules" line when zero tolerance punishments go over the top.

According to the Miami New Times:

"The letter of the law demanded the punishment, and school administrators believe kids should learn 'there are consequences to their actions.'

Yes, everybody should know there are consequences to their actions. But I suspect the school officials are too dumb to realize the consequences should match the crime. And if the school administration is dumb, I don't hold up much hope the students they are allegedly teaching are going to be that bright, either.

Following their reasoning to its logical conclusion, I guess I should get the death penalty if I get caught doing 80 mph in a 65 mph zone in my truck, rather than merely getting a ticket and paying a fine.

As Jesse Walker writes in Reason:

"No one was hurt. There's no sign that Wilmot was up to something malevolent. The kid's own principal thinks this wasn't anything more than an experiment, and he says she didn't try to cover up what she had done. What punishment do you think she received? A stern talking-to? A day or two of after-school detention? Maybe she'll have to help clean up the lab for a week?"

All of Walker's suggestions make sense. The girl broke the rules, and she does need to suffer some reasonable consequences.

But a felony, in which the intent of the school seems to be to ruin her life rather than guide her?  And exactly why is the school so intent on throwing this girl's life away?

This case might be an important step in finally eradicating the silliest, most stupid applications of zero tolerance that serves to ruin kids' lives rather than teach them the difference between right and wrong.

Why? Because scientists are pissed. 

Ashutosh Jogalekar, writing in Scientific American says:

When you arrest and expel students for slaking their scientific curiosity, whatever the other consequences of that action, be advised that you are almost certainly sacrificing a valuable scientist at the altar of arbitrarily wielded state and school power.

Jogelekar also says this, which makes total sense:

Yet we as a society are grabbing on to the Precautionary Principle at every opportunity. We seem to believe that ignorance is better than knowledge since ignorance involves doing nothing and always erring on the side of safety. We think this is ostensibly the safest state of affairs, but it is one which is very much illusory since it’s that same ignorance that unfavorably impacts our long-term security and progress. 

All this extreme discipline and extreme punishment is robbing our nation of future scientists. Here's another take on it, from Scientific American's Urban Scientist blog:

"I can't name a single scientist or engineer who hadn't blown up, ripped apart, disassembled something at home or otherwise cause a big ruckus at school all in the name of curiosity, myself included. Science is not clean. It is very messy and it is riddled with mistakes and mishaps.

I also love how a whole bunch of scientists are Tweeting about their youthful science mishaps, with the hashtag #KieraWilmot.

Let's hope she escapes this horrible school intact.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Xena The Warrior Puppy Rescues Jonny and Our Hearts

When I'm playing with our dogs Jackson and Bailey at home, the two boys pretty much decide what kind of game we play and how long it will last.

"Who controls who,?" my bemused husband will often ask.

The larger question on this topic came to me when I read a bumper sticker about animal rescues. "Who rescue who?" was the text on the paw print shaped sticker.
Best buddies Xena and Jonny

I bring this up because of an initially horrifying and ultimately beautiful story I saw on Buzzfeed about Xena the Warrior Puppy and Jonny, an eight year old boy

I'm a sucker for stories like this. That's because I love hearing confirmation of my belief that dogs are among the most powerful beings in the universe. If you think about it, dog rescues that have good outcomes are really cases of the rescued dogs rescuing the rescuers.

Got that?

Xena was four months old when someone found her discarded and terribly emaciated on the side of the road. She'd been held in a crate and starved for her first months of life, then dumped and left for dead.

Gawd, I wish I could get my hands on the people who did that. But the cruelty done to that dog led to some beautiful things

When found, the puppy was in such bad shape that it was assumed the rescuers were too late. The photos of the battered, skeletal puppy in the Buzzfeed story are an absolute horror. People at Animal Services of DeKalb County, Georgia assumed she would die a sad death.

This quote about Xena when she was found, according to the Today show:

“I’ve been doing rescue probably for about 12 years, and I had never seen a dog that young in that sort of condition,” said Chrissy Kaczynski, who works for Animal Services and is a founding member of the rescue group Friends of DeKalb Animals. “I brought her home with me and I didn’t think she’d make it through the night.”

But nope, Xena was a fighter. Presumably egged on by a Facebook page started in her honor Xena recovered beautifully. Her name actually came once she largely recovered. People were so impressed by her fighting spirit that the name came naturally.

Finally it was time for Xena to get a new family, one that would treat her well. Animal Rescue of DeKalb County held an open house, where people could meet Xena.

Xena took control, running up to the Hickey family who were at the open house after following her saga on Facebook. A news crew doing a feature on Xena and her recovery showed the dog running right up to Jonny and his father as soon as they arrived.
Another shot of Xena and Jonny  

The Hickey family could do nothing else but rescue Xena and bring her home to be part of her family.

Here's what Mrs. Hickey wrote on Facebook after they brought Xena home. She is an awesome woman, judging from the post. 

Then there's the effect Xena had on Jonny. Like many people with autism, Jonny shied away from people, from communicating. But Xena and Jonny became fast, intense friends, and Xena totally drew Jonny out of his shell.

Watch this absolutely charming video of Jonny singing "You've Got a Friend In Me" then tell me who rescued who in this scenario. Seems to be mutual.

In my life with our two dogs, there's no dramatic turnaround, no incredible stories. My life with my dogs is no more remarkable than millions of other people with their pets.

But the predictable, wonderful moments with The Boys just really help everything. When I'm working in my home office, Bailey, the older, wiser one, comes in to the office every once in awhile, just to check in on me, get a chest rub and a kiss.

When I sit down on the couch to watch TV after a long day, here comes energetic cocker spaniel Jackson to leap up onto my lap, get a nice, long backrub, then fall asleep.

Yes, the two Boys are acting "selfishly."  Bailey wants the reassurance that we're still there for him, which is why he comes into the office to check. Jackson knows the back rubs feel so good, and I'll reliably give them, and plus the close contact with me reassures him.

But these routines give me a chance to stop, forget the craziness of my life for a few minutes, and just live in the moment.  The Boys always remind me that just stopping and breathing and enjoying life is always the best option.

So again, who rescued who here?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Bizarre Florida Crime Keeps That State Way On Top For Weirdness

Florida has a well deserved reputation of having by far the weirdest people, weirdest crimes, weirdest activities perhaps in the world.
Police accuse Jason Vickery of a rather
unique visit to a home that was not his, contributing
to Florida's reputation for wackiness. 

And we can thank a guy named Jason Vickery, 23, for maintaining Florida's wildly crazy reputation

According to police, and WTEV Action News in Jacksonville, Vickery supposedly broke into a St. Augustine house and started masterbating in the bathroom. That is until he spotted a toy helicopter and played with that for awhile.

Then he beat off again. Oh, and he also stopped his activities in the house for a bit to enjoy a nice salad.

Police said they found some drug paraphernalia on Vickery. Shocking.

Of course, all this is par for the course in Florida. It's easy to find dozens of examples of weird Sunshine State News, as this slide show of 16 or so odd items demonstrates

Among the unique news items from Florida in just the past year or so:

---A woman was arrested for riding on the back of a manatee.

---Miami Gardens megachurch Pastor Rich Wikerson offered to eat a cockroach to gain new congregants.

---An elderly man tried to smuggle 16 birds from Havana, Cuba to Miami by sewing them into his trousers (TSA agents found the birds during a patdown)

----A guy named Eddie Gonzalez was trounced in his bid during the November elections to unseat Republican Florida Congressman Mario Diaz Balart. This is despite Gonzalez's effort to win by changing his name to, which is the name that appeared on the ballot.