Trophy Squirrel

How many more hours do I have to pose like this?

How many more hours do I have to pose like this?

You may recall the character Hickory from “The Wizard of Oz” proclaiming that one day they would build a statue of him in this town… foreshadowing his later role in the movie as a rusted tin junkpile.  This squirrel is not about to wait for his own glorious day to come… he is going to sqturday squirrel logoact now and become a living monument to the amazing and cute world of sciurinedom.

This was one of a whole slew of pictures I took while roaming the park last Monday.  If you are wondering, the brick is etched on top with some person’s name for whom the tree is in memorial of.  Yet, at the angle I took this picture from, the squirrel is almost perfectly positioned over it that it appears instead to be the base of a statue or trophy that the critter has been featured on.  Sure, you may have to squint a bit and use your imagination to see it… but the timely alignment in this photo tickled me nonetheless.  Now, in honor of this picture’s awesomeness, I’ll have to contact the park district and have that brick re-commissioned to pay tribute to this week’s well-sculpted Saturday Squirrel.  Just please keep the pigeons away…

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everybody!

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Ride A Painted Pony

This is my favorite flavor of paint...

This is my favorite flavor of paint…

prompt logoSome of you will be looking forward to an extended weekend beginning today.  I will be looking forward to dragging my nine day decaying carcass back to Mecca tonight and working through it.  While we can’t agree on the happiness value of a Friday, we can all come together and celebrate another exciting reader-suggested idea in The Nest’s Prompt the Squirrel series.  This is where I always remind you that if you haven’t suggested an idea yet, you need to do so now so that you can get in on the fun, but that’s getting to be a broken record that isn’t netting me much in the way of new prompts… so dowhatchalike.  Just remember, you don’t have the right to complain about my Prompt the Squirrel series if you don’t participate!

See what happens when you just sit idly by?

See what happens when you just sit idly by?

This week’s prompt idea comes from our favorite nun in the WordPress blogging community, Faith, Hope, and Chocolate.  While she’s not a frequent poster on her blog, she is an avid reader of others’ words of wisdom, including The Nest… which apparently does not cause devices to spontaneously combust into brimstone fires when it is viewed within the holy walls of a convent.  Anyway, here is what she suggested:

How about sharing more of your non-computer-created artwork?  I challenge you to get the acrylic paints out again!

Not only a suggestion, but a challenge!  Would I be up for it?

Can't I just watch more talented people do it?

Can’t I just watch more talented people do it?

I’d mentioned before that there was a brief period of time where I dabbled in seeing if my computer art skillz would translate onto a canvas medium.  It occurred during the mid-months off 2010, and resulted in a whopping three paintings of dubious results.  Faith mentioned in the comments section of that post that she admired the few works I had done and that I should take it up again… so perhaps I should have seen this coming.

This is an example of my finest work.  I guess it beats some of the starving artist sale stuff...

This is an example of my finest work. I guess it beats some of the starving artist sale stuff…

One of the things I love about digital art is that it is sooooo easy to erase no longer visible underlayers and fix mistakes.  Painting is not necessarily as forgiving… especially if you are using cheap paints and have no idea what you’re doing.  Since I don’t envision ever taking painting up as even a semi-regular hobby, I can’t justify the extra time and monetary effort it would take to get better at it.  I mean, it really can’t be this easy, can it?

I can't afford phthalo blue so I won't be having happy little trees magically appear out of a paintbrush.

The power of phthalo blue.

Like anyone else who knew cool shit when they saw it, I watched a lot of Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” shows when I was younger.  There were obviously magical properties in that afro of his that allowed recognizable objects to instantly appear out of his random brushstrokes.  I couldn’t understand for the life of me how he did it… or how anyone does it.  My paintings always look like a preschooler’s work that Mommy would hang on the icebox to scare off the roaches.

OMG!!!!  That's such a hideous portrait of the dog sniffing the cat's ass!

OMG!!!! That’s such a hideous portrait of the dog sniffing the cat’s ass!

But I have a challenge in front of me, and I’m gonna rise to it, dammit!!!

Please stand by... we are having technical difficulties due to dumbassery.

Please stand by… we are having technical difficulties due to dumbassery.

I took a handful of progress pictures while I was creating my painting so you could get a feel for my painting process and see how what I did loosely tied together to form the finished product.  Unfortunately, while I was cleaning out no longer needed photo files from my computer during my too-much-time off this past week, I wound up deleting the damn folder that had those pictures in it…. and didn’t realize my goof up until literally just now.  So much for an informative and interesting post to go with this prompt…

squirrels

Which makes this pretty much like every other post on this blog now.

Luckily, I had already uploaded a few of the finished product pictures to Photobucket before I wiped the originals from existence.  So I’ll tell you that I decided to paint…. what else, Rainbow Donkey!  Here’s what he looked like on my kitchen painting table:

rdpainting1

Here’s another shot I took with my old camera so you can see what the colors look like under a flash…

rdpainting2

Now to see what my in-nest art critic Ody thinks of my work…

What... the.... heck?

What… the…. heck?

I can't look at this anymore.  Biskit!  Come and take this thing to the litter box.

I can’t look at this anymore. Biskit! Come and take this thing to the litter box.

Eh, who cares what the critics think anyway?  I’ll bet none of them even know how to paint.

So, to end this story, I could have hung Rainbow Donkey on my wall along with my other poor attempts at putting acrylics to canvas… but I thought it might be a nice surprise to let the person who inspired me to paint it in the first place have Rainbow Donkey to cherish forever.  So I mailed the painting across the Atlantic to Faith Hope and Chocolate… and here is a photo she took of him enjoying his new surroundings!

It looks like RD is in good company!

It looks like RD is in good company!

Thank you Faith for submitting this challenge that actually made me get off my butt and do something… and I hope you and the Sisters get much happiness from my beloved donkicorn!

Just like the Doobies, we’ll have another prompt another Friday…. next week!

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #160 — 5/21/15

comic52115

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Royals

Anyone who hangs out with possum-like creatures is A-OK with The Nest.

Anyone who hangs out with possum-like creatures is A-OK with The Nest.

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time once again for Marilyn’s weekly Serendipitous Photo Story Prompt!  Last week, I dug out a photo I took in 1987… a year when it still took days to see the results of the pictures you captured.  Today, I’m going to go all the way back to…… last night.

I’m currently on Day Two of my annual baseball trip to Kansas City, which took a bit of an unexpected turn over the weekend when my Dad, who has been my constant companion on these trips, wound up in the hospital with a blood sugar level only the Hubble Telescope could see.  Since he’s still recovering from that (and yes, from all accounts he’s doing fine now), I thought I might have to go it alone this year.  But my youngest sister kinda surprised me when she volunteered to go in his place… and it is from her cameraphone  that today’s featured photo, taken by a third party bystander, comes from.

king queen

Yes, we ate at a Burger King on the way here, but that’s not where this picture was taken.  It was taken at the ballpark!  What was this Renaissance man and woman doing there, anyway?

Since 1969, Kansas City has been the home of the Royals… a team that was often described as baseball’s model expansion franchise due to all of the success they had during their first two decades of existence, when many other new teams are often still struggling to establish themselves.  Those glory days occurred during the reign of team owner Ewing Kauffman, however he died in 1993 and the team languished in the power vacuum of a trust until Mecca-made man David Glass bailed them out and ran the franchise just like he would have one of the stores.  From the mid 90’s through the early years of this decade, the once proud Royals were one of baseball’s constant laughingstocks… and formerly proof of how small market teams were unable to compete in the Steinbrenner eat Steinbrenner world of Major League Baseball.

Say goodbye to all those playoff appearances, Ewing!

Say goodbye to all those playoff appearances, Ewing!

But a funny thing happened last year.  A young, upstart Royals team featuring what looked like the latest crop of washed up prospects snuck into the playoffs via the wildcard and suddenly became an unstoppable force that swept its three fellow American League challengers in October, and came within one game of winning the World Series.  After two decades of getting to enjoy sparse crowds, I knew it was going to be a bit of a different experience this year in the afterglow… and that brings us to our royal couple my sister is posing with up there.

Stand back, my subjects, or you will all be beheaded!

Stand back, my subjects, or you will all be beheaded!

Me and Nicole spotted them while walking through the parking lot before the game, and oh boy did we get a good laugh out of that.  If you think I’m mercilessly funny at mocking anything and everything that catches my view, you should see the two of us together.  We’d make a hell of a Beavis and Butthead team.  Nicole immediately pointed out “It’s Henry VIII!”, one of ten zillion running jokes between us and we were hysterically laughing about it as we followed the yellow brick road all the way up to the stadium gate.

And no, I didn't just use yellow brick road as a figure of speech...

And no, I didn’t just use yellow brick road as a figure of speech…

Thanks to an American League pennant in 2014, Kansas City fans are once again excited about their team… apparently enough to dress up like complete fools when coming out to the old ballpark.  Despite the temperatures being in the upper 50’s with a light rain during the middle innings, the place was rocking as the Royals tossed a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 with the pitching matchup of young studs Johnny Cueto and Yordano Ventura living up to the billing.  It also was all wrapped up in just over two hours, making it one of the quickest games I’ve ever attended…

Rob Manfred would approve.

Rob Manfred would approve.

Those silly timers they installed in ballparks this year that are supposed to keep between innings breaks to just two minutes and thirty seconds were pointless, as most of the time, the action started up again with plenty of time left on the clock.  Of course, that may be a different story tonight with the much less prestigious matchup of Jason Marquis and Jeremy Guthrie on the mound…

Assuming it stops raining before game time…

I'd very much like to leave the popcorn bucket at home...

I’d very much like to leave the popcorn bucket at home…

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Swedish Meatballs

Please to help me vith my muzaksack, Mr. Beeks?

Please to help me vith my muzaksack, Mr. Beeks?

Not that Monday means anything to someone with an odd workweek anyway, but when it falls in the middle of a nice stretch of vacation time, the day really loses any and all negative associations with it!  Well…. almost all of them, since it’s still the day I reveal yet another eclectic song from The Nest’s Top 30 Covers Songs of All Time countdown.  DJ Scratchy and her fly sponkies are literally on pins and needles ready to fire up another track that sounded so much better the second time around…. at least to one person in this world that is….

top30covers

#20. “Hooked On A Feeling” – Blue Swede

B.J. Thomas was a singer whose talents made him successful in many, many musical genres that most people don’t bother to listen to… but of course, we best know him for the few years raindrops weren’t a fallin’ on his head in the pop world.  Thomas had a string of hits in the late 60’s and early 70’s that could often be heard on the AM radio that was shrouded by a thick band of funny smelling smoke.  One of those was “Hooked on a Feeling,” which was a #5 hit on the pop charts and was one of the rare pop hits that totally rocked the sitar.

The sitar that solved a thousand crossword puzzles.

The sitar that solved a thousand crossword puzzles.

But have you ever said to yourself…… “You know, I like that song, but I bet it’d sound even better if it was backed by a bunch of tribal jungle chanting?”  Björn Skifs thought the same thing, so he got his band Blue Swede to cover the BJ Thomas hit with more of a rock edge… as well as adding the sounds of deepest Africa.  And it’s the only thing anyone even remembers the band for 40 years later.

Say it with me, now!!!

Ooga chaka!  Ooga ooga ooga chaka!!!  Ooga ooga ooga chaka!!!

Ooga chaka! Ooga ooga ooga chaka!!! Ooga chaka!!!  Ooga chaka!!!

As totally awesome as the chanting is that the song begins with, and reprises following the intermezzo… the song’s just a ton better than the original all around.  And as we all learned from Christopher Walken, everything sounds better with more cowbell…

IIIIIIII'm hooked on a clopping...

IIIIIIII’m hooked on a clopping…

It’s no surprise that Blue Swede topped BJ’s mark and took their version of the song all the way up to #1 in 1974.  And given the dearth of cover songs in my countdown that debuted before I was born, they should be thrilled to have earned a spot in my Top 20!  This song is the second best thing to appear on my blog that originated from Sweden

red squirrel statue sweden

They love their squirrels in Stockholm!

Come back next week for the #19 entry in my cover song countdown that promises to be as nasty as it wants to be….

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