Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

My Rosacea started acting up, so I decided it was time to visit the Dermatologist as the last time I was treated for the condition, the ministrations provided kept it at bay until just the past few weeks.  So, I made an appointment and arriving on time for it — fortified for the probable long wait by my Kindle.  I became deeply engrossed in the new Stephen King novel, Dr. Sleep until about forty minutes into the forty-five minute wait.  What roused me from this page turner was a sudden tiny sting in the left side of my neck right where it meets the shoulder-line.  Feeling it with my fingers, I detected a tiny bump, but it no longer stung or itched, so I went back to the Kindle until I was called five minutes later.

After the Dr. finished her examination, prescribed medication and detailed treatment, I asked to take a look at that bump on my neck.  She was quite shocked as was I, to find a newly embedded Deer Tick there.  By using a tool that is basically a metal tube with edge of one end razor sharpened, she proceeded to remove a cylindrical  chunk of me with the head of the tick embedded in it and its little back legs waving above.  You will have to rely on whatever mental picture that provides as unfortunately I did not bring my camera.  She then stitched the hole in my neck up and provided me with a prescription for antibiotic.  She told me I could make an appointment with my family care provider for two weeks in the future to get tested for Lyme Disease and to get the stitches out.

My theory on these strange events is that some person visiting the dermatologist before me — Getting treated for a tick bite maybe? — left that bugger in the chair where it hitched a ride on me and creeped its way up to my neck as I sat there motionless waiting for it to sink its vampire fangs into me.

But that is not the whole story.   Over the past few weeks I have been fighting a cold and I thought I had almost beaten it, but a few days before my dermatologist appointment my cold appeared to have moved into my chest and I was experiencing extreme congestion and although I was not running a fever, I was not feeling very well.   Then on the same day of the dermatologist / tick experience, but later in the afternoon, I was — with the van from work — delivering a couch of mine that I had donated to one of my clients.  While tilting the thing on its end in an attempt to wrestle it through his apartment door, I struck the third rib from the bottom on my lefts side on the leg of the couch – painfully.  After the initial pain subsided, I noticed that it was pretty sore at the site and that it hurt a little in that area when I breathed.  For the next two days I trudged on, doing mountains of work and feeling continually worse until finally when I left my office at six P.M. on Friday, I went directly to my health clinic (armed of course again with my Kindle) to await being seen.

Two hours later when I was finally called in, I was X-rayed and the found no break, plus there was no sign of Pneumonia, but the doctor said it appeared that I do have a lung infection.  When I related the “tick experience” to her, besides finding it amusing, she informed me that there was almost no chance I could be infected with Lyme Disease from that bite.  She happened to be somewhat of an expert on the subject, having treated she said “hundreds of cases” when she worked in Rochester during an outbreak of the disease.  She said it takes the tick being in your body for twenty-four hours before an infection can be transmitted from the tick to the host.

But the thing that ties this whole mess together is that the doctor told me she would have prescribed the exact same antibiotic prescribed by the dermatologist — Doxycycline —  which I had been taking for the past two days to treat my lung infection.  Thanks to that treatment is now cleared up.

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In my blog A Mystery Noise I told of my frustrating experience with a noise I could not identify in my house.  Something similar has happened again.  Two mornings ago after I had finished my shower in the morning, I detected the sound of water running through the pipes of my house, but I knew that all water was turned off.  I then checked all faucets in the house, including the outside faucet and there was no water anywhere.  But, wherever I went in my house I could clearly hear the running water and I could hear it the strongest down in my basement.  Yesterday I called a handy-man I know, who agreed to come over last night to try to figure out my problem.  At first he could not figure out until I told him that there is a pipe coming out of my garage floor that used to have a faucet on it, but that I had never used.  At some point I had noticed that tiny amounts of hot water was leaking out of it, but it was so little I just ignored it.

As soon as I told Dave (the handy-man) this he quickly realized what was going on and found the pipe going through the wall of my basement, which he explained was the pipe leading to my garage underground.  This pipe was probably put in about fifty years ago and is galvanized pipe, so had probably pretty much disintegrated, so water running into that pipe from my basement was apparently providing possibly generations of woodchucks with their own hot-tubs below my lawn.  I had turned the valve off to this pipe many years ago and since not more than a few occasional drops were coming out at the other end in my garage, I figured the valve must be doing its job.  It was not.

Hey Folks,

Just thought I would write a blog that gives a short description of the more than fifty blogs I have written so far.  My blogs are divided into categories, so I will arrange this blog in the same way.  Note that some of my blogs fall into more than one of my categories, but they will only be chronicled once below. The blogs are listed in each category in chronological order from the oldest to the newest.

ADVENTURE:
In “The Mexico Expedition“, I tell about an expedition my father and I went on in the jungles of Mexico. In “Shrimp Boats” Although the next blog, entitled “Grand Canyon” is yet unfinished, I published it anyway and at some point will finish this massive blog about the fun-filled trip to the Grand Canyon with the family of my best friends.  Economizing Words details a four-day conference I attended on Long Island, where I began to learn techniques for teaching mobility skills to persons who are deaf-blind.

HUMOR
This category has several entries, but two are rather silly like, “Anti Aging” “Cream” which does not deserve an explanation and “Lovesick Squirrel“, which is also rather weak. I do think that my blog about “The Empty bus“, which details my most embarrassing moment is, if I do say so myself, pretty funny. In “No Virginia“, I shared one person’s(was unable to find who this piece originally came from) scientific analysis of the impossibility of the existence of Santa. In “jokes” I add a few favorite jokes I have received from hyper space over the years. In “National Bake Sale” I make my own tongue-in-cheek “modest proposal” as to how to solve our national debt crisis.

 Miscellaneous World Blogs
In “The Big Ponzi Scheme“, I explain why I think the free enterprise system is one giant Ponzi Scheme.  In “Taxes 101“, I decry America’s aversion to paying taxes.  In “Wiki leaks Realization“, I applaud how these revelations reveal just how stupid our world leaders (mostly men) are.  “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” is just one of my several blogs that attack the moronic bigoted behavior in the world.   In “The Wal-Marting of America“,  I talk about how China has adopted a similar policy of that adopted by Wal-mart to economically crush everyone but them.  In ‘A Letter to the Rich“, I send these sycophants a warning.    In The God of Abraham VS Spirituality,  I detail reasons why belief in this god,  contradicts its adherents claim to spirituality.   “Jesus“, is another of my polemics against bigotry.  In “The Age of Stupid“, I mourn the current anti-intellectual climate fostered by the right wing-nuts of the republican party.    In “Inherent Bigotry“,  I detail how I think the bigotry is inherent in the three major religions that dominate the world today — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.    In” There is a fine“,  I talk about why parents — not teachers — are the ones who are really the ones responsible for the education of their children.   In”I’m Tired of the Bleeping Censorship“, I point out how silly trying to control media language with “‘bleeping” offensive language is.   “Are the Republicans the New Sodomites?“,  is not actually one of my blogs, but was a New York Times OP:Ed in which Nicolas Kristoff, gives an amusing quiz that points out just how out of touch with reality the Christian right are.   In “Corporate Person-hood“,  I decry the supreme court’s decision that gives corporations the same rights as real people and I make an argument why they are not at all human.  in “Good People“, I give my opinion on what it takes to be a good person.   In “Not for Profits Please” I give my argument why these entities are a superior way to proceed in the future.   In “In the Tradition of Tomas de Torquemada” I decry the religious zealotry of Rick Santorum.    And finally in this category, I wrote two companion blogs,  “Racism is …“, which explains why we should stop using this archaic word and “Ethnic Bigotry is caused by?“, which details what science has discovered about the sources of bigotry.

NEWS RANTS
In “My Take on Egypt” I talk about what I think really spurred the Arab Spring.  In “McCarthyism Reincarnated“,  I make a short comment on the ravings of Ann Coulter.  In “Nuclear Lies“, I argue that no matter what we do with this form of power, it will never be safe.  In discuss the meaning of “Cults“, and in Bill Maher’s comments about conservative woman… I argue that Mr. Maher’s comments is neither a sexist nor misogynistic.  In Here’s Something I rant about the Supreme Court decisions on corporate person-hood.

PICTURES
 In “Pictures“, which is not really a blog in my list, but a menu item at the top of my blog, I display some of the favorites from the pictures I have taken.   I display some pictures of my master in “My Cat: Wheatina Turdmonky“.  Lastly in this category, I chronicle the tragedy of  “A Green Heron Saga”

WEIRD
This category had a few entries, but the others have already been mentioned in other categories, so there is only one left.  “A Mystery Noise”  Tells about an actual, very frustrating experience I had in my home one long night.

SHORT STORIES
I have two short stories of my own in this category, “Symbiosis” a completely fictional short short story about an encounter with an unusual individual and “Words in Time“, another short short of mine with time travel as its theme.  And finally in this category, I put in one that is not mine “The Story of an Hour“, by Kate Chopin.  Although only one page long,  this is one of the most powerful short stories I have ever read.

WORDS
In this final category, I offer on blog that lists some of my favorite “aphorisms” in general and then two more that deal specifically with “Death” and “Ennui”  I also include a list of “Aphorattemts” which lists some original quotes of mine.

This is a very short story I wrote a few years ago and had forgotten about.

SYMBIOSIS

W hile walking on the trail that runs along the Erie Canal this Saturday, I met a most peculiar gentleman.  I was headed West and he East and since the canal and thus the trail runs perfectly straight, I was able to watch as he approached, first appearing as an unrecognizable tiny moving dot, but gradually as we approached one another becoming a man with recognizable characteristics.  Even from quite a distance I began to notice his unusual attire: A derby hat; a long sleeved billowing what appeared to be muslin shirt with bloused sleeves, over which he wore a three-button leather vest.  His well-pressed pleated pinstriped pants were tucked into white socks, causing the bottoms of his pants to blouse in a military fashion and on his feet he wore bright red high-toped converse sneakers.

As he we drew closer, I noticed some sort of string or cord attached to the top button of his vest, running from there up to his left shoulder where it appeared to be fastened to something there.  It was not until we were about ten feet apart that I realized that the cord was actually a small leash running to a collar around the neck of a live Chameleon – not the kind that is native to the southern U.S. and that can be obtained in almost any pet store, but the very exotic kind from Madagascar with the bulging eyes that can move independently of one another and that the sport the tightly curled tail.

I then shifted my eyes from the lizard to the man’s face, and found that he was smiling at me, apparently pleased that I showed interest in his reptilian companion.  I took that smile as an invitation, so as we were just about to pass one another I approached him.   As I did I noticed a huge red blotch on his right cheek and I immediately made the mental self-query – boil, melanoma, herpes? On closer inspection, I noticed that it was a very gooey bright red gelatinous glob and appeared to have been applied, not a grown there.

“Hi”, I said, “Great place to walk one’s Chameleon”

“Yep”, he laughed “Me and Geico walked all the way from Verona today.”

“Geico”, I said rolling my eyes and laughing, ” that’s funny, but if you don’t mind my asking, were you aware that there is a large glob on your face?”

“Yep, that’s strawberry jelly”, smiling “everybody asks about that”, he said, shaking his head and making a facial expression that indicated he thought that asking such a question was really weird.  “But”, he said, “Since you asked, I’ll show you what it is.” and after a short pause, he added, “if you want me to that is.”

“Please do.  I wouldn’t miss this for anything “, I quickly replied.

He positioned himself with the canal on his left and directed me to stand facing him from about five feet away.  He then told me not to move around or say anything for at least the next minute, but to watch closely.  He said nothing more, but with his head slightly turned to the left, froze in position as still as a statue of a mime.  After about 30 seconds, a fly buzzed around his head briefly and then landed right next to the mass on his face, ready for a sugary feast.  That fly’s desert was cut short by Geico’s eight-inch tongue, which lanced out like a striking rattlesnake, snatching the hapless fly from his partner’s face.

At the end of this amazing performance and without saying another word the man proceeded in his original eastward direction.   I watched his progress for a few moments feeling enriched by my encounter with this strange symbiosis and then turned westward.

 

No Virginia . . .

Posted: December 23, 2010 in ALL POSTS, Humor, Weird
Tags: , , ,

The Real Story Behind Santa

Proposition: IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?


1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second.

This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second – a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload – not even counting the weight of the sleigh – to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison – this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance – this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and

create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be

subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of

his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion – If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s deadnow.

A Mystery Noise

It was 11:26 P.M when the mystery noise began and I will explain later why I know it was exactly that time.  I had been doing work on my computer for six hours straight, was tired and ready for bed.  As I stood up from my computer I suddenly heard a high pitched continuous electronic squeal.  When I tried to locate the source of the sound, I couldn’t seem to detect its direction.  So, I shut down my computer.  The noise was still there.  I unplugged the computer and all of its peripherals.  The noise was still there.  I started walking around my house and found that it didn’t matter which room I went to, the incredible grating continuous beep without the “p,” was still there! No matter how much I turned around attempting to locate the source, I could never quite pinpoint its origin in any room.

After finding the sound everywhere in my house – basement, first & second floors, and attic – I made another discovery.  If I stood still the sound stopped, but if I then began to wave my arms around, the noise immediately started back up.  The sound was the most evident as I was swinging my arms through the air and as I waved my arms, the pitch of the tone seemed to vary, as if some field was reacting to my arms movement.

I decided then to eliminate the house’s electrical power as a source, by throwing all the switches at the breaker box.  This I did, waving my arms in the total dark and hearing that annoying noise.

At this point I began to get a little worried, asking myself such questions as: Is my house somehow bugged by incompetent CIA agents, who set the recording volume so high as to cause feedback?  Are aliens invading my neighborhood?  And more disturbingly, am I losing my mind?

I devised a test that I thought would prove that the sound was real.  Using a long cord attached to the microphone jack on my computer on one end and a microphone in the middle of my living room a full ten feet from me at the other, I recorded a few minutes setting the recording level as high as it would go.   For the first few seconds of the recording I sat still and did not wave my arms and heard no sound.  I then waved my arms and the sound came back as clear as ever.  After continuing the waving long enough to get a good sample, I stopped the recording, but when I played it back, the background noise that would be there normally was there, but nothing else.  The sound wasn’t there

This is it I thought, I really have lost my mind.  I was really quite disturbed at this point.  Was I going to continually hear this annoying noise every time I move?  As this thought hit home,  I leaned forward putting my elbows on the desk and thrusting my forehead into my upturned palms.  At that instant I noticed that the sound got much louder and seemed to be clearly coming from my left.  It was then with great relief, that I realized that my digital Casio G-shock watch was the culprit.  It had died at 11:26 through some internal electronic failure or another and was issueing its death scream as long as it had power.   When I made the discovery it was 1:00 a.m.  I had spent one hour and thirty four minutes tearing my house apart and my hair out.  I then took the watch off  retired with great relief, but the watch continued its death scream – toward the end it was more of a death squeak –  all night and most of the next day before it had sucked the final juice from the battery.

THE EMPTY BUS

My Most Embarrassing Experience

By Ross E. Deforrest

It was the spring of 1972 and I was in the second semester of my first year at Auburn Community College.  I was 25 at the time, having served my time with Uncle Sam before starting my college career.  One of the classes I had selected for this semester was a biology course entitled “Ecology 103.”  The focus of the class was to study the effects of pollution on the environment.  I was drawn to the class by the description in the curriculum of the several field-trips the class would be taking around Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania, to view and study the effects of pollution.   One of the trips we took and the one that is the focus of this sad story was to view and study the devastating effects of strip-mining in Northern Pennsylvania.

The group which consisted of about 25 co-eds (about 2/3 female) and our biology professor/chaperone/organizer of this trip, was transported via a chartered bus to our destination, a Pennsylvania state park in the northern part of the state.  The curriculum clearly stated what we would need to bring as well as the do’s and the don’ts: three changes of clothing; canned or boxed food of some sort for ourselves as no food would be provided; and no drugs or alcohol (that final rule almost universally ignored.)

The trip to Pennsylvania was uneventful, but when we arrived at the park we found it to be nestled in a truly beautiful forest of giant old growth pines with abundant wildlife including deer, rattlesnakes and numerous flying squirrels gliding from tree to tree.  But this story is not about what occurred there, but an incident that happened on the bus trip home.   However that incident was shaped by actions the night before in our cabin.

As I stated before we all had been instructed to bring various canned and dry foods to prepare for ourselves and we all did.  But the cabin only had one large pot to prepare food in, so somebody got the brilliant idea to create a massive stew by mixing everyone’s offerings in that one pot.  This we did and the resulting gruel consisted of: rice, chicken soup, tomato soup, Chile, mushroom soup, goulash, sauerkraut, beets and one guy even poured about one half of a quart bottle of blackberry brandy in it.   When this concoction was brought to a boil the results were a bubbly, bazaar smelling, purple-brownish witch’s brew.  None of the females would touch it and only a few of the other guys even tasted it.  I refrained from eating it right away, but as the night wore on, my hunger grew to the point that to the astonishment of everyone, I ate two bowls of it — none of them had of course, spent the last two years eleven months fifteen days three hours and thirty six minutes eating army food.

I had eaten this bazaar meal at about one in the morning and went to bed right after that as we were to head back toward Auburn at the crack of dawn.  When that much-too-early time arrived, I slept through several attempts to wake me and dragged myself and my things to the bus which was all packed with everybody on it anxiously glaring at me as I stumbled on.  As I entered the door of the bus and walked down the isle, I detected a distinct fiery rumbling in my stomach and intestines that only increased as I approached an empty isle seat toward the back of the bus.  When I plopped down in my seat, I found that  the guy who put the blackberry brandy in the gruel and who had subsequently consumed the rest of that bottle, leaving him in a severe state of dazed hangover slumped in the window-seat next to me.  We had traveled about twenty minutes of our three-hour journey before I realized that rumbling in my gut would require some release.  I thought that I might get away with carefully allowing a silent, slow release of the pressure and so leaning gently,  I made the attempt.  It was silent, but my seatmate was not, because he immediately turned to me with a horrified look on his already green face and screamed loud enough so everyone on the bus could hear:

“Jesus Ross”, after which he thrust his head out the window and threw up.

As the invisible toxic cloud moved row by row toward the front of the bus, heads snapped around to face me with its arrival at each successive row, and I was met with glaring angry faces.  The “domino effect” continued until the toxic cloud reached the driver, who immediately pulled the bus over on the shoulder and was the first to exit, followed quickly by everyone else. We all stood by side of the road for a full ten minutes until it was safe to re-enter.   That was for me a long ten minutes.