Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

The Questions…

1. What are the names of the three Rice Krispies elves?

2. What is the most valuable residence on earth?

3. Anne Frank and her family were in hiding from 1942 to 1944 in what city?

4. What is the strongest muscle in the human body?

5. What was the duration of the age of the dinosaurs, aka the Mesozoic Era, aka the Age of Reptiles?

The Answers…

1. Snap, Crackle, and Pop.

2. Buckingham Palace in London, which is worth about $5 billion. The palace has been the official royal residence since 1837, when Queen Victoria moved in.

3. Amsterdam.

4. The jaw muscle.

5. Between 150 and 200 million years. The earliest ancestors of humans appeared only six million years ago.

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BRINNON, WASHINGTON — A woman was rescued uninjured, but shaken, after she dropped her cell phone into a pit toilet and fell in headfirst while trying to retrieve it.

The 40-year-old woman was using a toilet in the Olympic National Forest when her phone fell into the underground tank. She removed the toilet seat and tried to reach the phone with a dog leash.

When that failed, she secured herself with the leash and reached into the pit, but slipped and fell in. She was unable to climb out and called 911. When firefighters arrived, they handed down blocks of wood for the woman to stand on, allowing the team to reach her and pull her to safety.

The rescuers hosed off the woman, gave her clean clothes, and told her to seek medical attention because of the exposure to human waste. However, they said she “only wanted to leave” and drove away to an unspecified destination in California.

CORNVILLE, ARIZONA — A javelina that hopped into a station wagon to get a bag of Cheetos became trapped inside, trashed the interior, and caused the vehicle to roll away out of control.

Yavapai County deputies said the vehicle’s hatchback had been left open, and the closing mechanism was triggered when the javelina jumped in. In a panic to get out, the animal ripped off door panels and part of the dashboard.

It also knocked the vehicle into neutral, allowing it to roll down a driveway and across the street.

The next morning, the vehicle owners discovered what had happened and called the sheriff’s office. A deputy opened the hatch, and the javelina ran into the undergrowth.

Javelinas, also called peccaries, are a species of wild pig native to Central and South America and the southwest US. The animals live in herds of six to eight. Adults can weigh up to 80 pounds.

ZABOW, POLAND — Volunteer firefighters in Zabow twice had to remove a raccoon that was taking a nap in a precarious position atop a streetlamp.

Crews responded after the animal was spotted asleep while clinging to a horizontal section of conduit high above the ground. The electricity was disconnected, and crew members used a lift to reach the raccoon.

The animal was released on the ground, but immediately climbed back to the top of the streetlamp.

The crew removed the raccoon a second time and released it in a remote wooded area.

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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The alt-rock band Concrete Blonde released its debut album in 1986. The song “True” was included on the album twice, once with lyrics and again as an instrumental.

In 2002, after breaking up and reforming, as so many bands do, ho-hum, Concrete Blonde released “Group Therapy,” an album that includes “True, Part III.”

In 2012, the band disbanded again. Johnette Napolitano wrote in a farewell message, “Music lives on. Keep Listening. Long after we’re gone, the music will still be there.” Indeed.

As good as they were, Concrete Blonde somehow never clicked with the public and rose to the top. Such a shame.

In my subjective opinion, all three versions of “True” are well done, artistically and technically.

Which is why I present them to you herewith.


By Concrete Blonde, 1986
Written by Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey

When I’ve had enough,
I’ll get a pickup truck,
And I’ll drive away.
I’ll take my last ten bucks
Just as far as it will go.

Sometimes I’m easily fooled.
I take a painful step,
And I get knocked back two.
I do what I can,
And it’s all I can do.
But I’m true.

And if I had the choice,
I’d take the voice I got,
‘Cause it was hard to find.
You know I’ve come too far
To wind up right back where I started.

And they tell me who I should be.
I’ll never let those monkeys
Make a mess out of me.
I give all I am,
And it’s all I can do.
Ah, but I’m true.

One more sunset.
Lay my head down.
One more sunrise.
Open my eyes up.

And then they talk you up,
And then they talk you down,
And you begin to doubt.
Sometimes the reasons seem so very far away.

Ah, but I’d stop breathing today,
‘Cause if I can’t walk proud,
I’d rather walk away.
I do all I am, and it’s all I can do.
But I’m true.

I’d give all I am and give it to you.
So true.


The instrumental version:


True, Part III

By Concrete Blonde, 2002
Written by Johnette Napolitano and James Mankey

And I
Will leave this life,
And I will know
I’ve done the very best I can.

And I
Will leave behind
Strain and pain
And take the blame for who I am.

And I,
I tried,
Tried to find a way
To hang it all together,
Oh, together.

And when
I leave this life,
What will you say of me,
You, who never knew my heart?

For I
Will leave behind
The sound of a woman
Who knew what was true
From the start.

And I,
I wanna slide
Out of my old hide
All clean and free and better.

Yeah, I
Wanna ride
Off into a wild new morning,
Off into forever.


Oh, I,
I wanna ride
Off into some wild new morning,
Off into forever.

Oh, I,
I wanna slide
Out of my old hide
All clean and free and better.
Oh, forever.


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The Questions…

1. What animal has the largest eyeballs?

2. In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown’s father was never seen, but his occupation was mentioned. What was it?

3. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of what deadly poison?

4. How long does it take to hard-boil an egg?

5. What is Earth’s largest single structure made by living organisms?

The Answers…

1. The giant squid. Its eyeballs are about the size of your head.

2. Mr. Brown was a barber, as was the father of Peanuts creator Charles Schultz.

3. Cyanide. You would have to eat about 140 seeds to ingest a lethal dose.

4. Seven minutes.

5. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is a system of reefs and islands made up of billions of living coral polyps growing atop the remains of deceased polyps. The Reef is a delicate ecosystem that supports a wide variety of marine life and, no surprise, is steadily succumbing to pollution.

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It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance.

Thomas Sowell


To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.



If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.

Ulysses S. Grant


Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Denis Diderot



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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA — A 36-year-old woman wearing only a t-shirt was arrested for breaking into the home of an 80-year-old Pasadena man and attacking him with a coffee cup. Firefighters treated the man for cuts on his face and knuckles.

Police initially responded to a report of a partially-clad woman lying in the street. By the time officers arrived, the woman had run into the elderly man’s back yard. Hearing noises outside, the man opened the back door. The woman burst in, ran to a bathroom, and locked herself in.

Minutes later, she ran out of the bathroom and attacked the man with a coffee cup. He fought her off with his cane and forced her out of the house, where police arrested her.

The unidentified suspect was remanded to a detention facility in lieu of $30,000 bail. A court date is pending. Police gave no explanation for the women’s behavior.

DALTON, GEORGIA — A missing German Shepherd was found and reunited with its Chicago family after being lost in the North Georgia woods for over four months.

On October 30, the family was visiting Dalton when their dog Leo, age 10, slipped out of a motel room and vanished. The owners remained in Dalton for two weeks searching for Leo, but finally had to return to Chicago.

According to the Atlanta-based Lost Pet Recovery Team, Leo was spotted on a residential security camera in December and was seen again in early February in the same general area. Recovery Teams put out food and installed a series of trail cameras and traps.

In early March, a trap finally snared Leo, who was in good condition. Family members have since returned to Dalton and taken Leo home.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND — An Irish pub in Nottingham has placed a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the urinal in the men’s room and invited its customers to do the right thing.

Ged Dowling, owner of Raglan Road Irish Bar, said the action was a direct response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. “People come in just to use the toilet,” Dowling said.

Putin’s photo replaces one of Donald Trump, which had been in the urinal for several years.

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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