Friday, July 30, 2010

Bear Attacks

Within that past month numerous bear attacks have been reported in the news. 

While asleep in a tent in New Mexico, some Boy Scouts were attacked by a black bear.  A zookeeper recently escaped an attack by a bear by using pepper spray.  A hiker in Kentucky was bitten by a bear while hiking at Natural Bridge State Park.  Let's face it folks, we are just not safe anymore.

As a public service I offer these tips.

If you go hiking you should wear bells on your ankles.  The jingling noise will ward off bears.

You can determine what type of bears are in a given area by learning to recognize bear scat.

Brown and black bear scat is easily recognizable because it contains berries, twigs and bits of leaves.

Grizzly bear scat can be determined because it contains fishbones and bells.

Remember these handy tips and stay safe!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Binky Fairy

I'll 'fess up. As a child, I never owned a binky or a pacie. However, I did have a Bundy and it had nothing to do with that bastard Ted.

My Bundy was pink and fluffy with rayon bunting around the edge. It felt nice and cool on my 4-year-old nose. It was especially great when combined with sticking two fingers in my mouth, which is how the young Marc slept back in the 1950’s.

Mom told me about The Sandman, who came through the front door of our apartment and put that nasty stuff in my eyes at night. Of course, I knew all about Santa, the present guy and the Easter Bunny, the candy guy, but I never heard of the Binky Fairy until recently.

There are now a couple of books out called Goodbye Binky "The Binky Fairy Story" and The Binky Ba-ba Fairy.

The Binky Fairy and the Binky Ba-ba Fairy have devised an evil plots to steal binkies out of the mouths of the very youngest of us. The Binky Ba-ba Fairy even swipes the poor kid's milk! The child is told the Fairy takes them and gives them to poor babies that need them.

Let me spell this out. The Binky Fairy comes and tells the kid to put the binky in a box or else and the kid has to leave it outside his or her bed, so little Miss Fairy can steal this unsanitary, unsterile pie-hole stopper from the snotty little tyke to give it to poor kids? Yeah right! Poor kids have enough problems without getting some orally transmitted disease from a kid that can afford to buy binkies that are not second-hand. The Binky Ba-ba Fairy even steals the kids bottle, milk and juice.  She just yanks it out of the babies mouth!  Then she rinses them off and recycles the nasty germ-ridden things.

I believe both Fairies probably have the loot repackaged and then they sell them at Wal-Mart or Family Dollar. In my opinion hat just sucks!

Now that I am thinking about it, babies literally suck.  Of course that is their way of getting nourishment.  I never used a binky.  I wasn't going to be fooled by some device designed to make me think I was getting fed. I wanted milk and I wanted it now and don't give me none of that 2% stuff.

My only experience with binkies consists of watching my grandkids. Their poor Mammas spend countless hours every day searching for the lost binky the little man tossed behind the couch or in the trash.

This past week Time Magazine ran an article about The Binky Fairy with all sorts of quotes and suggestions from this doctor and that educator debating the pros and con's of binkyology. What a pile!  I recall when Time was a news magazine.

The kid will give up the binky when the kid is ready.

I can think back to being six years old. There was this cute little girl in my first grade class. I wondered when we got married, would she let me sleep next to her with my bundy?

Maturity prevailed. I got older (seven) and gave up my bundy compulsion.

The cute little girl also got older, grew up and went on to marry someone else. I now wonder if she lets her husband sleep with his bundy. Or maybe he prefers a binky.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The M Word

I got together with my family last night to celebrate the 16th birthday of my niece.

During the party, we discussed the political and financial issues of the day. We agreed with each other, which is darn rare when you get a group together of people that all have an Irish Heritage. Despite the stereotype, those of us with Celtic roots enjoy an occasional verbal slugfest.

Most of the relatives I was speaking with were in their late 40’s or mid 50’s. We’ve seen a good economy and we’ve seen the down markets. It is funny these both down turns occurred under the watch of Democratic presidents; i.e. Carter & Obama.

By the is not O'Bama!

My brother-in-law chimed in to remind us the Irish were once slaves and pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. He stated we used to be called, “A bunch of damned Micks!”

I reminded him that we never use the “M” word. Never, ever!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hopscotch - Part 2

Recently Anonymous wrote a comment to say God bless you please Mister Robison, Jesus loves you more than you could know...whoa, whoa, whoa.

Just to remind both of the people that occasionally look at this blog, Charles Robison is the teacher recently accused of corporal punishment of his young son for violating the rules of professional Hopscotch?

According to what we are told in the local news, Mr. Robison is divorced and was taking care of the tyke over the weekend. Upon going home the boy’s Mama discovered some bruising and assumed it resulted from the whuppin’ the little fellow got for bad-mouthing his daddy.

Robison states the bruise was due to a bump received while the child was at the swimming pool. He further states the “ex” assumed he bruised the kiddos hinder.  Divorce is never pleasant.

Robison also explains the punishment was not due to improper Hopscotch etiquette, but due to the young man sassing his old man.

The whole event seems to be due to poor decisions and assumptions.

Still I do not understand why a contemporary five year old would be playing Hopscotch. That is so retro. 

Get out the Gameboy son.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If You Play Hopscotch, You Better Play By The Rules

First of all, I gotta' admit I was not aware that kids played Hopscotch these days.  I thought all they did was sit around playing Wii or Playstation Grand Theft Auto.  Apparently I was wrong.

A Northern Kentucky middle school teacher is facing a felony abuse charge for allegedly beating his 5-year-old son with a belt. 

Christopher Robison, 46, of Union, is facing a Class C felony criminal abuse charge, which carries a penalty of five to 10 years in prison. Mr. Robinson has been suspended by Boone County Schools “pending an internal investigation.”

The allegations were made by his ex-wife, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. Robison said he and his ex-wife share custody of the boy and an older daughter. The department said Robison hit his son with a belt “because the boy was not playing hopscotch to his satisfaction.”

I am ashamed that at 58 years old, I only played Hopscotch once in my life and I never learned the rules.  And I need to get this off my concious. I never actually played marbles and never really got the hang of mumbly peg.

Apparently, in this man's oppinion Mr. Robison must have been quite familiar with the official Hopscotch Association Rule Book.  He admitted he did hit his son twice on the buttocks with a belt after his son talked back to him several times while they were outside playing hopscotch. He said he gave his son a couple of warnings, but the boy did not stop. That’s when he took him inside to discipline him, he said.

“It was about him talking back,” he said. “Not about hopscotch."

Robison said he believes corporal punishment should be an option for parents, but not to hurt their children.

Robison turned himself in Monday afternoon, posted a $500 bond and was released. 

The Boone County Police have assigned one of their top investigators, Storm Trooper Darryl Jenkins to determine if Robinson the younger was or was not following proper Hopscotch rules.

Also in question is whether young master Robinson did or did not call his father a "Doo-doo head."

Monday, July 12, 2010

The New Sunday Funnies Stamps

When I was a little guy, one of my treats was to sit on Dad's lap while he read the Sunday Newspaper Funnies to me. 

We skipped over Mary Worth and Apartment 4-G and concentrated on Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey, Pogo, Dick Tracy, Blondie, Little Iodine and The Phantom. 

I used to love reading the funnies, but seldom do anymore.  Most of those I loved are gone. This Friday the U.S. Postal Service is issuing commemorative stamps and will have a ceremony in Columbus Ohio to unveil the tiny works of art. 

Five strip characters will be honored including, Calvin and Hobbes, Denace the Menace, Garfiled and Archie. Archie was the creation of Vic Bloom, writer, and Bob Montana, artist, and published by John L Goldwater, who created the characters which were based on the popular Andy Hardy; Mickey Rooney films of the era.

Over the years, the writers and artists for Archie Comics have changed.  Currently Michael Uslan and Dan Parent write the comic books, while Craig Boldman of Hamilton writes the daily comic strip.  Stan Goldberg has been drawing and coloring the comics for years. The daily strip is illustrated by Fernando Ruiz.

This marks the first time that Archie and the other characters appeared on commemorative postage stamps, though not the first time that stamps have featured comic strip or comic book characters.

"We really wanted to come up with very contemporary, very relevant comic strips that are still out there today or very recent, in the case of Calvin and Hobbes," he says. "We just know that they'll be very popular and that people will buy them and save them."

The Archie stamp shows one of the world's most famous love triangles, with perpetual adolescent Archie Andrews sharing a chocolate milkshake with brunette Veronica Lodge on his right and blond Betty Cooper on his left.

Archie debuted in comic books in 1941 and in newspapers in 1946, making it one of the longest-running strips ever.  At this point Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead are all eligible for Social Security and Medicare Benefits, although they have not graduated from Riverdale High as of yet.

 Sunday funnies fans will be able to meet and get autographs from Boldman, Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker, Garfield creator Jim Davis, Dennis the Menace artists Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand and Calvin and Hobbes editor Lee Salem at Friday's ceremony at the Ohio State University, home to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

Beetle Bailey and His Creator Mort Walker

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Old Grey Whistle Test

This phrase goes farther back than I imagined.  I recall being told that it was associated with the 1960's Brill Building songwriters, such as Neil Diamond, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  However the Brill Building was home to 165 music publishing companies, all of which were looking for that brand new song to sell.

Prior to the above named writers, many publishers of 1940's Big Band works called the Brill Building home.

During the Great Depression, the owners of the Brill Building were desperate for income and rented office space to song publishers, who before usually worked in lower Manahattan's Tin Pan Alley.

Getting to the topic; The phrase Old Grey Whistle Test was coined to predict the popularity of a song.

As the story goes, older people took night jobs cleaning offices.  These maintenance workers arrived at around 5 PM when the daytime staff was leaving.

From time to time they would hear a song demo from a recording or hear some songwriters working on a song.  If a writer or publisher heard a cleaning person whistling one of the tunes, that was a sure sign it was catchy.  So it passed the Old Grey Whistle Test.

I've read about this story being associated with the Brill Building and also with London's Denmark Street music publishing businesses.

The other definition of The Old Grey Whistle Test refers to an influential television music show on the BBC that ran from 1971 to 1987.  The show derived it's name from the aforementioned legend.

 Here is a clip from The Old Grey Whistle Test Show


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Poison Ivy - Poison Ivy - Late at Night When You're Sleepin'...

...Poison Ivy comes creepin' around, 'round, round, round.

I was listening to a local horticulturalist on the radio last week while driving.

He stated that poison ivy has become more wide spread and virulent.  He went on to say people that never were allergic to it before are starting to develope a reaction to poison ivy.

I have got to believe him since various parts of my body are itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree.

After mowing the grass and trimming weeds, I rush in and take a hot shower, soap up and turn the cold water on in an attempt to get any of this evil plants oils off of my skin.

Alas it didn't work this week. 

On Wednesday I tackled my backyard, side yard, the grass the mower missed last weekend in the front yard with my weed-whacker.  I should have stuck to my first thought, which was telling my neighbors I was growing tall ornamental grass.

So Thursday I woke up with red itchy circles around my eyes, a red neck that also itched and itchy arms.  I suffered through the day at work on Thursday and Friday.  Saturday my wife hosed me down with Benedryl spray and I put Calydryl on my face to the point where I looked like a news anchor on HD TV that covers her face in pancake makeup.

It's Sunday, the red circles are still around my eyes but, thankfully the itchiness is starting to subside. 

I was not aware that poison ivy can have little red berries on it. 

Next time I'll take to heart the old adage;

 "Leaves of Three. Let it Be."