Hakuna Matata

Cover songs bring out the animal in me...

Cover songs bring out the animal in me…

It’s another Monday funday here at The Nest, which has been starting your week off with only the finest musical earworms for 14 months now.  This is a very special Monday, as it marks the start of our venture into the upper crust of my Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown!  Yes, if you thought the records being spun on Scratchy’s turntable over the past 20 weeks left you with an indescribable feeling inside…. well, you’ll really be thrown into a musical coma by what’s to come now that the dust jackets have come off and the vinyl is really going to hit the fan!  Crank up your hearing aids to eleven and let’s really get ready to explore the very best of the recycled best!

top30covers

#10. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – Robert John

Way back in 1961, a consortium of American musical geniuses decided to hijack an old Zulu standard that was popular among the black population of South Africa and turn it into a whitebread hit that would make them lots of money.  “Mbube,” or “Wimoweh” as it was also called, was carefully cobbled into a catchy pop ditty and dubbed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which was then handed to a teeny pop group called The Tokens to record.  It hit the top of the charts and became the only reason anyone remembers that a group called The Tokens even existed.

And they recorded it AFTER Neil Sedaka left the group!

And they recorded it AFTER Neil Sedaka left the group!

Many artists in many different genres have recorded versions of both the Solomon Linda original “Mbube” as well as the more familiar pop sounding “Lion,” both before and after The Tokens made it a worldwide hit.  It’s truly one of the most covered songs of all time.  But there’s only one king of the jungle when it comes to wimowehing, and that is none other than 70’s singing sensation Robert John.

Turn the other way!

Turn the other way!

Like The Tokens, Robert John didn’t exactly put a whole of lot of music on the charts, and he’s basically only remembered for his 1979 #1 hit “Sad Eyes.”  But before he had women everywhere bawling to his mellow sounds, he took a stab at “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1972, which made it to #3 despite being largely forgotten these days due to the popularity of The Tokens “original.”  I don’t know why people continue to cling on to the dusty old black and white version, because Robert John’s “Lion” is one of the most awesome feel good songs in the history of musical Prozac!

Wow!  Where do I even start rattling off all of the qualities of John’s song that makes it better than the extremely dated Tokens version?

John’s backup singers are the bomb!

gladys knight

Sometimes the Pips make the song, and not the Knight.

No annoying soprano!

The lion may sleep, but the hippo is on the loose.

The lion may sleep, but the hippo is on the loose.

And any pop song that can totally rock the tuba deserves some kind of special award…

The tuba players get all the chicks.

The tuba players get all the chicks.

And though I have never seen “The Lion King,” I’m pretty sure it doesn’t use the Robert John recording of this song… and really, isn’t this version exactly what Timon and Pumbaa should be dancing to?  It’s got a fun and carefree attitude the stodgy old original doesn’t.  Hell, use some of those special CGI effects to throw this song into The Wizard of Oz as well…

Hush my darling, don't cry my darling!

Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling!

But enough about Leo.  Be sure to return next Monday as we unveil song number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9….

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A Garden Party

The humans have blocked this off... there must be something good inside!

The humans have blocked this off… there must be something good inside!

Among the many ways people seem to find squirrels to be pests is the way they will treat sqturday squirrel logogardens as their own personal all you can eat buffet.  You can’t really blame the squirrels for this destructive behavior, it’s just what they do.  Plant life and squirrels have been coexisting for millions of years, and I doubt either is going away anytime soon… so even if your garden becomes another squirrel’s personal playpen, you can relax in knowing the earth’s ecosystem will not suffer due to the loss of your makeshift suburban jungle.

Here I captured a squirrel taking a peek inside a circle of plastic edging in front of my neighbor’s house.  There doesn’t seem to be anything growing within the walled off confines, but that’s not going to stop our curious sciurine from seeing if there’s really any there there.

Silly humans!  Did they really think a squirrel wouldn't be able to find something that's buried?

Silly humans! Did they really think a squirrel wouldn’t be able to find something that’s buried?

Not satisfied with being an outsider, our flora expert decided to step inside the squared circle to see if he could dig anything yummy up.  In the infamous words of Sheriff John Brown, kill it before it grows, right?

So you probably want to know was there anything growing inside of this great barrier, and if there was, did our squirrel manage to ruin my neighbor’s attempt at curb appeal?  Well, I took these photos two months ago back in May.  Here’s a picture of the same area I took yesterday…

We find the fuzzy defendant to be innocent on all charges!

We find the fuzzy defendant to be not guilty on all charges!

It takes a lot to become a Saturday Squirrel, and one of the qualities The Nest looks for is a squirrel who can balance being a squirrel with also respecting the boundaries of its two-footed neighbors.  This squirrel is a true humanitarian among rodents!

Or maybe he was just spooked off by that fearsome looking guard turtle.  It’s OK, we understand…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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You Can’t Hide Your Ionize

Time to let the cat out of the bag.

Time to let the cat out of the bag.

prompt logoWhat, it’s Friday already again?  Where has this week gone?  It seems like just yesterday it was only Thursday.  Oh well, I guess that means I have to dig into the cookie jar of reader submitted ideas to pull out one of the last couple crumbs that remain to give me my sugar high.  Yes, it’s time once again for another fly by the fur of my tail version of Prompt the Squirrel!  This series has certainly properly challenged me like I was hoping it would… the results have been pretty good even for prompts I didn’t think had any promise.  But can I keep the quirky creativity coming as I tackle those submissions that I quietly saved for last just in case the apocalypse or something would strike before I had to strap it on and deal with them?

Damn you, Firefox!  Now I have to actually do some work.

Damn you, Firefox! Now I have to actually do some work.

This week’s penultimate prompt comes to us from another one of my very, very longtime followers… the amazing Gentlestitches.  Aunt Sharon, as I like to call her, has been pleasing me for three years with the wonderful array of cute amigurumi animals she showcases on her blog, two of which I am extremely fortunate to have on my shelf behind me!  That would be the beautiful little Sponkies…

How come you two get petted more than I do?

How come you two get petted more than I do?

So what did Aunt Sharon ask of her favorite American squirrel?

I would like to see a post about a not very well known weather phenomena of your choice with squirrels highlighting salient facts.

Well, given my meteorology background, you’d think this would be right up my alley.  Those classes were…. gulp… almost twenty years ago, and contained enough advanced mathematics and physics to melt my poor, acorn sized brain into differential equation mush.  No matter how much I wracked my brain over this prompt during the last three months, I couldn’t think of anything good to feature with it!

Next week's weather will be full of little known phenomena, because I have no idea what the fuck is going to happen!

Next week’s weather will be full of little known phenomena, because I have no idea what the fuck is going to happen!

Of course, the problem is associated with the fact that I was thinking of weather in a simplistic form like most others do…. sun, clouds, wind, rain, snow, lightning, and don’t forget that pesky wintry mix.  But weather encompasses any kind of atmospheric condition we experience here on earth in the troposphere… and though I dismissed all of the exotic phenomena I thought of right off the bat, that’s pretty much what “little known weather” is, the things we experience rarely, or perhaps even never to our own eyes.

So with that being said, for this week’s prompt I’m going to talk about the awe-inspiring occurrence of St. Elmo’s fire.

Oh, cool!  I think we're gonna learn something today.

Oh, cool! I think we’re gonna learn something today.

No, not the 1985 movie of the same name… it wasn’t not very well known, plus I’ve never even watched it, so I can’t offer much of a discussion on its plot and cultural significance to those coming of age in the 80’s.  But I can assemble my own Tree Brat Pack of sciurines to help guide us through one of the worst scientific explanations you will probably ever read outside of a book with a cross on the cover.

Here's a very well known weather phenomenon as punishment for your blasphemy!

Here’s a very well known weather phenomenon as punishment for your blasphemy!

Let’s begin our exploration of this strange phenomenon, shall we?

stelmo1

stelmo2

stelmo3

stelmo4

stelmo5

stelmo6

And speaking of the end being nigh, I don’t need The Nest’s resident prophet Mr. Applewhite to tell me this prompt is ready to meet its maker.  Thank you Aunt Sharon for allowing me to use my squirrels to show how little I really know about science!

Everything I know about luminescence I learned from Regis Philbin.

Everything I know about luminescence I learned from Regis Philbin.

You’ll want to make sure you come back next week for the final prompt in this series that I have no fucking idea what I’m going to do with…

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #169 — 7/23/15

comic72315

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The McOverpass

Sir, please don't make me throw you down on the highway.

Sir, please don’t make me throw you down on the highway.

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s Serendipitous Frisbee time again, hosted by the always fashion conscious Marilyn.  This week, I was inspired by one of her posts earlier in the week of a highway underpass that had a hotel over it.  I could only think of one building atop a highway overpass I had encountered before, and that’s the so-called “World’s Largest McDonald’s” that sits above Interstate 44 near Vinita, Oklahoma.

If you ever went to Oklahoma, you would never guess in a million years that Will Rogers was born there.

If you ever went to Oklahoma, you would never guess in a million years that Will Rogers was born there.

Located near the halfway point of the Will Rogers Turnpike that runs from Joplin, MO to Tulsa, this free rest area was turned into a big honkin’ McDonald’s that spans the interstate… allowing it to be accessible for both westbound and eastbound drivers.  With the exception of 2014 when it was closed for remodeling, I’ve stopped there at least one way on each of my annual trips I made to Norman for a message board get-together from 2010 to last year.  It’s not only a glorified pedestrian walkway with a value menu, but it also houses a gift shop that sells all kinds of souvenirs branded with Oklahoma, Native Americans, Route 66, and of course… it pimps its ownself just a bit…

The fuzzy dots in the background... those are Ody's eyes.  I'm dead serious!

The fuzzy dots in the background… those are Ody’s eyes. I’m dead serious!

One of my favorite pictures I ever took was when my family went to Chicago back in 1989 and I’d just gotten my 35mm camera… from a pedestrian walkway, I took a neat picture of the highway below bustling with cars driving 50 miles per hour over the speed limit.  If I ever find that pic, I’ll share it on one of these photo prompt Wednesdays… but for now, here’s my tribute to that picture I took in 2013 from the dining area of the Vinita Mickey Dee’s looking down on Interstate 44 (Eastbound, I believe)…

The McLane's truck is probably headed to some unsuspecting Mecca to drop off a shitload of candy.

The McLane’s truck is probably headed to some unsuspecting Mecca to drop off a shitload of candy.

Like my Mecca was at the time, the Vinita McDonald’s was also plagued by a rather intrusive, unwelcome gang of pests…

What do you think's in the burgers?

Who do you think’s in the burgers?

See the little birdie sitting on that chair in the center of the picture?  He and a couple of his fine, feathered friends were flapping all about the enclosed overpass, even dive bombing some unsuspecting patrons who were unwilling to share their fries.  Either Oklahoma has some shitty health inspection laws, or Ronald must be in the inspector’s pocket.  That photo also exposes just how run down this not-so-prestigious fast food landmark actually is… what with the condition of the tables and chairs.  Hopefully, this was all addressed during last year’s shutdown…

Sorry Ronald, but even fast food customers have some semblance of aesthetic expectations.

Sorry Ronald, but even fast food customers have some semblance of aesthetic expectations.

See ya next Wednesday for the next Photo Frisbee!

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