Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 29

Here we are for another round of Pop Culture Frenzy.

Our question involves an upcoming display to take place December 21-23 at the Michigan State Capitol building.  What is this display?

A statue of a Spartan battling a Wolverine?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.  I like that idea!  A Buckeye could be standing nearby, ready to jump into the fray, like a tag team.
  Here's a thought.
Since a buckeye is a tree, there
could be a second statue of
the victor lifting his leg
 on the Buckeye.

Hostmaster:  Now that would be art!

Back at it.  What is this upcoming display in Lansing, Fluffy?

A nativity scene?
They can't do that!  It
goes against separation of
church and state!
Hostmaster:  no, the display won't be a Nativity scene.
Santa and his reindeer?
Hostmaster:  no.  Though surely someone would be offended somehow.
Santa is associated with Christmas.
Not everybody celebrates
Christmas so Santa might
make them feel bad.
Hostmaster:  of course.
You know what makes me feel bad?
All the dead birds on the ground
under windmills.
Hostmaster:  WHAT?!?
That's a lie!  It's propaganda.
It's true.  I can show you pictures.
Let's do it later though.  
Hostmaster is looking woozy. 
Hostmaster:  umm.  Bryan, take over.  I have to leave.
I didn't know parrots could vomit
in flight.
hmmm.  OK.
I'm reading the news article Hostmaster
used as his source.
Here's the answer:
The Satanic Temple of Detroit
has made a display.  You can see it at
the Michigan State Capital
 December 21-23.
 Satanic Temple kinda
sounds like a religious group. 
Wouldn't the separation of church
and state thing kick in here, Cyndi?
Well.  It's only fair.
After centuries of Christians
forcing their beliefs
on everybody.
There's a picture of the Satanic Temple
display. There's a
pentagram, cross, snake, giftwrapped box
and printed words reading:
"The Greatest Gift is Knowledge."
Reindeer are friendlier than snakes.

Since Hostmaster is indisposed, I'll sign us off.
Be sure and join us again for pop culture frenzy.
Merry Christmas. 
There's a link to that display if anybody wants to see it: 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Peek a huh?

When I was a kid the front door of my home featured a peephole.  It was pretty cool.  When you looked through the hole the front porch was visible but in a distorted fun house sort of way.

What a handy thing to have, a peephole.  If the doorbell rang when you weren't expecting anyone you could see who it was without opening the door.  If it was, say, a vacuum cleaner salesman you could avoid him by simply not answering the door.  (Eventually this technology found it's way to telephones in the form of caller ID.)

In time, my parents replaced that door with a peepless model.  Never again did I live in a house with a peephole in the door.

Till now.

 We really don't need a peephole.  You can see who's standing at the door on the back porch through the kitchen windows.  Still, it's there.  The little kid in me spontaneously peeked through the hole yesterday.  The porch was visible, distorted in that crazy rounded way.  The railing around the porch looked like it was about to undulate.  Off to the side there was a large white something.  My first thought was, Wow!  It must be a rare white elk!  How did it get so close to the house?  Did it jump the fence?!

I stepped away from the peephole, mouth agape.  No way, I thought.  It can't be.

A second glance revealed it was just the peephole version of the propane tank.

You know...

There COULD be a white elk around here.

Coming up the trail from somewhere.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


The Northern Raccoon, aka Common Raccoon, American Raccoon and coon is found in prairies, forests, marshes, sub divisions in most of the US, southern Canada and parts of South America.  Their scientific name is procyon lotor which means something like dog/bear washer.

Speaking of washing, there is some disagreement on whether or not a raccoon washes his hands and/or washes his food.  The activity often interpreted as washing is probably the animal manipulating the food in his front feet, not to clean it or his feet, but to soften the food before eating it.  This theory holds water because when no water is around, the coon will make the same foot motions in dirt as he does in water.

Raccoons are intelligent, resourceful and versatile.  Omnivores, they eat many things from fish to nuts.  They'll eat things you'd rather they didn't, like your chickens' eggs, corn off the stalk and the trash out of your garbage can.

Some Raccoon Facts

-  they are nocturnal mammals

-  a group of raccoons is called a nursery

-  average life span:  2-3 years (up to 20 years in captivity)

-  weight:  up to about 25 pounds

-  length of body:  roughly 20 inches

-  length of tail:  10 inches

-  top causes of death:  hit by car, killed by hunter

-  predators:  coyote, mountain lion, man    

In spring, the male raccoon mates with multiple females.  He then goes back to his solitary life wandering around in a range of 3-20 square miles. 

The female's range is 1-6 miles.  She has one litter a year, gestation 60-73 days, of 1-7 kits. The youngsters stay in the den for a couple months then accompany mother when she goes out to forage for food.  They typically remain with mom for a year.   A raccoon will make a den wherever-  a tree hole, a hollow log, an abandoned beaver den or under your back porch.

Raccoon are good swimmers, climbers.  They are inquisitive, aggressive and vicious if messed with.

Some raccoons living in cold areas will fatten up in summer and fall.  In winter they will live off their fat busily asleep in their den.  Raccoons don't hibernate, they simply choose to nap heavily during cold periods.

The feet of the raccoon are hairless on the bottom.  The front feet include a thumb giving them a hand like appearance.  The coon's feet are quite dexterous.  However, the thumbs are not opposable.  The rear feet are longer and thicker than the front feet.

Raccoons are susceptible to diseases such as canine distemper, parvo and rabies.  Raccoons do not make good pets.

What I lack in thumb power, I make up for in viciousness.