Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good

This is why I don't impale marshmallows over a fire.

This is why I don’t impale marshmallows over a fire.

Welcome to another melodious Monday, the day that honors only the finest in yesteryear’s forgotten ear pollution.  That means it’s time to unseal the vault that contains all of the ghosts of pop music past on another slimy edition of the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  Our gatekeeper and keymaster of lost songs, DJ Scratchy, has got her proton pack ones and twos strapped on and is teaching the Sponkies how not to cross the earworms.  OK… the light is green, so the trap is clean…

dusty vinyl

Someone in Hollywood recently decided that it would be a nifty idea to remake reboot the classic 1984 film Ghostbusters with an all female team of eco-hunters rather than a bunch of comedy sketch show alumni.  Desecrating a classic is never a good idea, though this is not the first time the franchise has had to endure studio cash cow blasphemy.  In 1989, we were treated to a horrendous sequel to the stand-alone original… aptly named Ghostbusters II.  To make this seem legitimate, they even monkeyed with the original logo that made the red slashed circle a staple of 80’s pop culture…

Not even soft serve ice cream headed ghost was safe from this abomination...

Not even soft serve ice cream headed ghost was safe from this abomination…

But as we saw in a DVA post last month, sometimes shitty sequels can be redeemed by the artists who are forced to work on the soundtrack.  I don’t know why, but for some reason sequels seem to generate pop hits that blow away what appeared in the original film.  Ray Parker, Jr.’s cribbing off Huey Lewis is a fine song, don’t get me wrong.  It never gets old, and the totally tubular neon in the music video will always be cool…

I'd all the cops too if I were treated to that scene...

I’d call the cops too if I were treated to that scene…

But five years after Ray Ray took the original Ghostbusters theme to the top of the charts, the kid who was cooling it then in New Edition would take Mr. Raydio Man to school.  Bobby Brown, fresh off the smashing success of his solo debut Don’t Be Cruel that put New Jack Swing in the mainstream, made all of the torture that was GB2 totally worth it by contributing the main theme to the movie, “On Our Own”

Dance!  You know it…

Not only is this a great song (it hit the runner up spot on the Hot 100) that seems to get buried today under Bobby’s earlier hits, but an excellent music video to accompany it that ALL movie montage videos should learn from.  Don’t overdub the annoying audio from the damn movie over the music and give plenty of attention to the artist actually singing the song.  Oh, and in a tribute to the original Ghostbusters video, there were plenty of celebrity cameos… including…

Alright... what joker put the YUGE black man on the side of my building?

Alright… what joker put the YUGE black man on the side of my building?

Unfortunately, this song was pretty much the pinnacle of Bobby’s career as every little step he took after this landed in a pile of possumshit.  Not only did he go to hell musically in the 90’s with all his humping around, but he was something less than a good influence on his even more famous wife Whitney Houston.  Try to mess with your girl?  That’s not legal!

Don't Be Cruel seems so ironic now, doesn't it...

Don’t Be Cruel seems so ironic now, doesn’t it…

I’ll be back to slime you all with another spooky earworm next Monday…

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Body Modification For Squirrels

Don't laugh... it's aerodynamic.

Don’t laugh… it’s aerodynamic.

I was going to use a series of photos I took of this park squirrel to discuss a different point for this week’s Saturday Squirrel, but it was impossible for me to look at them and not notice something else that sticks out like a sore thumb… or maybe I should say sore ear.  Check out that notable notch in his right ear!

I'll bet he shops at Spencer's.

I’ll bet he shops at Hot Topic.

Unlike humans who only want to be hipsters unique, squirrels don’t willingly mutilate themselves and then call it a body mod you’re not allow to judge them by.  That notch looks too clean to be natural, so I’m sqturday squirrel logowondering if our city park doesn’t have some sort of program to “tag” certain squirrels for identification purposes.  In trying to do some research on this (without encountering the sickening posts of those who hunt these beautiful creatures), I came across a popular program that notches the ears of spayed or neutered feral cats that are returned to roam neighborhoods without adding to Bob Barker’s pet population.  I wonder what this squirrel did to deserve its notch?  Did they take away its nuts?  Inject it with some bizarre test vaccine?  Declare him to be the sciurine king?

Or maybe he did get that notch for beauty purposes… because I have to admit, it does add to his natural adorability.  Congratulations to The Nest’s first ever emo Saturday Squirrel!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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A Three Hour Post

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

prompt logo 2Thank God it’s the day named after a Norse goddess… yep, it’s Friday everyone!  That means The Nest is opening up the request lines again and just allowing any old hack to hijack my blog.  It’s time for the latest entry in Prompt the Squirrel Friday, where you have nobody to blame but yourselves for any cyber pollution my dreck causes today.  Thankfully there are only three prompts left for me to fulfill, which probably means I can sneak through the remainder of this series before the EPA shows up at my door to shut down this internet wasteland…

Take a good, long whiff of my noxious material!

Take a good, long whiff of my noxious material!

This week’s prompt comes to us from longtime Nest follower and fellow demented mind Draliman, on whose blog bad things often happen to people in good pictures.  Drali inspired one of my better posts from the inaugural PTS season last year… let’s see if he’s up to the task again in 2016…

The gang is marooned on a desert island a la “Lost”. How do they cope? Does a natural leader emerge? Do we see hidden strengths and talents come out? Does Wiki “go native” and eat someone? Did Buster survive in one piece?

What do you mean "go native," tasty civilian?

What do you mean “go native,” tasty civilian?

The desert island trope has been around for almost as long as the earth’s been covered by land and water rather than it’s original magma and Spam.  Long before Tom Hanks was tropically marooned with his BFF volleyball, Robinson Crusoe was hanging out with his good man Friday.  William Golding showed us how getting stranded on an island will turn us all into stereotypical, uncivilized natives.  Survivor taught us how being stranded along with a TV production crew will turn everyone into douchebags and assholes.  Stephen King once even wrote about a man who was so desperate for food on his own, private sandbar in the ocean that he actually ate himself to death.

That sounds so utterly revolting.... wouldn't you agree, Clarice?

That sounds so utterly revolting…. wouldn’t you agree, Clarice?

Of course the most famous castaways in America were the seven character actors who made up the short-lived 1960’s series Gilligan’s Island, which achieved cult status through incessant reruns over the past four decades and added a lot of stupid questions that still pervade pop culture today.  Why didn’t the crew react to how Gilligan kept screwing up their chances of being rescued by totally killing his retarded ass?  How could the Professor build everything from a radio to a vibrator out of nothing but coconuts, yet not figure out how to send out an SOS?  Who would you rather be stranded with… the sultry Ginger, or the girl next door Mary Ann?

Even the Professor can't decide.

Even the Professor can’t decide.

What’s ironic about our fascination with people being stranded away from civilization on a desert island is the fact that it so rarely actually happens in real life.  Especially these days where short of being on board an Asian airliner, it’s practically impossible to disappear off the face of the earth anymore.  We’re all so proud of the GPS locators in our phones that help us find the nearest grocery store or Pikachu, yet it’d also allow the Coast Guard to find your ass if you ever washed up on a desert island after Joe Hazelwood guided your cruise ship into a beached whale.  “The missing person” is an overused plotline that died a slow, painful death in the early 21st Century…

Where was all of this fine technology in 1975?

Where was all of this fine technology in 1975?

Well, with all that being said… let’s take my gang out for a sea cruise and see what happens when their deranged, omniscient author decides to let a series of unfortunate events happen to them.  So we’ve got Evil Squirrel captaining the S.S. Gypsy Moth out onto the high seas along with his first mate Robbie.  The passenger list includes MBRS, Angel, Buster, Rainbow Donkey, Hooly, Hottie, Odyssey, Pigladillo, Wiki and the twins.  Bon voyage everyone!  And watch out for that hurricane up ahead…

sandy

This is what you get for neglecting to invite Sandy.

Uh oh, looks like the boat is taking on water.  Time to abandon ship!  Women and childr… aw hell, it’s every critter for themselves!  1912 this is not.  Since the Gypsy Moth is about the size of a regular lifeboat, there is no emergency escape craft on board… better start grabbing for pieces of the ship and hang on tight everyone!

Maybe next time you won't book your cruise through some third rate travel agency.

Maybe next time you won’t book your cruise through some third rate travel agency.

Unfortunately, not everyone can survive the initial shipwreck… so Hollywood guidelines dictate that we must start by first eliminating all of the lower tier, non essential characters.  Alas, poor Angel never learned how to swim and drowned at sea…

Sniff!

Sniff!

Hottie had a nasty encounter with a shark…

My, what big teeth you have.

My, what big teeth you have.

And Robbie got stuck in the bathroom with a nasty case of possum trots and was forced to go down with the ship…

Now we know why it was called a water closet...

Now we know why it was called a water closet…

The rest of the gang was able to make it safely to a nearby deserted island… well, except for Pigladillo who managed to float right into the middle of one of Bumfuckistan’s atomic bomb tests…

Coming in 2017: Piglazilla!

Coming in 2017: Piglazilla!

The nine survivors managed to regroup on the island… and once they realized they were all alone and would have to depend on each other for survival they did the only thing they could… split up into rival tribes.  Wiki, Sully and Blaze built an awesome bamboo fort on the north side of the island.  MBRS, Hooly and Odyssey camped out on the far western side of the island to keep as far as possible away from the rest of the lonely malecritters preverts.  Not that these tribal factions exactly got along all that well on their own.  Blaze finally realized she had the perfect chance to exact revenge on all of the annoying things her brother had done to her…

Now children.... play nice.

Now children…. play nice.

And in a stunning tribal council that shocked the entire imaginary viewing audience, archenemies Hooly and Odyssey formed an alliance to vote MBRS off of the island…

That'll be sure to drive up the ratings...

That’ll be sure to drive up the ratings…

After a few days on the island all of the emergency Butt Nugget Bars are gone and hunger starts to set in among the castaway critters.  To make things worse, all of the cheap scenery The Nest’s prop department bought for the desert island set is all fake and inedible.  With no hope of rescue anytime soon, it becomes inevitable that someone is going to have to be sacrificed for the good of the others.  Do you pick the weakest?  The most unpopular?  The tastiest?

No!  You pick the one that’s going to provide the biggest meal, of course!

Don't knock unicorn chileh until you've tried it.

Don’t knock unicorn chileh until you’ve tried it.

Having cured their hunger problem, there were still many dangers awaiting the survivors as they wished smartphones had been invented in this fictional universe I threw them all into.  There were still nasty tropical storms…

1.21 gigawatts of instant death...

1.21 gigawatts of instant death…

Mosquitoes carrying exotic, deadly diseases…

You can't die in grotesque ways with any of our silly stateside pandemics...

You can’t die in grotesque ways with any of our silly stateside pandemics…

Not to mention the dangerous equatorial rays of the sun…

Looks like the next meal is fully cooked...

Looks like the next meal is fully cooked…

One day, several months after the wreck of the S.S. Gypsy Moth, Buster was walking the beach all alone… as he’d been doing for a while now.  He looked out into the wide open ocean and saw the same mirage he’d seen every day now since he’d first landed on this dreaded island, a distant ship passing by.  Only this one looked so real…. and was coming closer…. yes!  It was close enough now to see the seamen on board!  Buster ran to the water’s edge and frantically jumped up and down to make sure the crew saw him.  He threw out his arms triumphantly as the ship that would bring him back to a land of fast food, cellphones and politics docked.  The captain was leaning over the ship waving Buster aboard as his crew lowered the gangplank…

That's gonna leave a mark...

That’s gonna leave a mark…

Well, so much for that misadventure into exploring what happens when my critters get stranded on a desert island.  I guess now that I managed to kill everyone off, I’ll just have to find myself a new batch of critters to subject to my bad comics and even worse drawing skills.  Oh well, I still must give thanks to Draliman for inspiring this case of mass crittercide, and I’ll be back next Friday to beach my blog on another jagged prompt that will no doubt turn out very badly for everyone involved…

Fast forward: 10 years later…..

Just how many new critters are you needing, mate?

Just how many new critters are you needing, mate?

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #221 — 7/21/16

comic72116

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Storm Of The Century

Mother Nature's always at her worst when I go to a ballgame.

Mother Nature’s always at her worst when I go to a ballgame.

If you happen to be one of those weird people who actually keep track of my weekly picture dayfeatures, then you’re probably looking at your squirrel calendar right now wondering if it’s really Wednesday already.  No… calm down.  It’s still just Tuesday.  If you have a stereotypical job, you’ve got another three and a half days to toil away yet before the next weekend.  I decided to run Picture Day a day early this week because I wanted to commemorate the night I had a front row seat to the most wicked weather event this city’s seen in my lifetime… and that occurred ten years ago today on July 19, 2006.

It was just another Wednesday night at the ballpark for me… it was also the one game each year my Mom tags along to.  Which is good, because at the time she had a camera and I didn’t…

Larry Wayne "Chipper" Jones, ladies and gentlemen...

Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones, ladies and gentlemen…

Like the last stormy game I featured, tonight’s affair featured the Atlanta Braves coming in to play the St. Louis Cardinals.  There’s one of a billion pics my Mom took during batting practice above… I included it here to show off the fact that just an hour before gametime, the weather was bright and sunny.  It was the fifth day of an oppressive, hot and muggy stretch that saw temps in the 100’s and heat indices somewhere near infinity.  As always, when it gets that soupy in the Midwest, there’s always the chance a thunderstorm could pop… and about 15 minutes before first pitch, it was obvious the atmosphere had had all it could stand of the sauna-like conditions.

That's awfully dark for an hour and a half before sunset...

That’s awfully dark for an hour and a half before sunset…

My Mom took that picture as the starting lineups were being announced maybe 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start.  I’d ignored the dark clouds forming off to the north and east because weather just doesn’t come from that direction.  Yet the forboding storm front still seemed to be descending upon the stadium with scary speed.  Smartphones were still a techie’s wet dream in 2006, so nobody had any idea what was happening until the scoreboard operator finally put an image of the local radar on the scoreboard.  The sight was unreal… particularly to someone with a weather background like myself.  My Mom neglected in her photographer duties to get a shot of that radar, but here is an awe-inspiring loop of the storm I found on the internet (The stadium is located on the eastern fringe of the small, teardrop shaped territory on that map that is St. Louis City)…

Let me remind you, our weather NEVER comes from an easterly direction...

Let me remind you, our weather NEVER comes from an easterly direction…

That thin, wispy echo on the leading edge of the storm was the gust front… that initial burst of wind that precedes most thunderstorms.  And they usually don’t make fancy radar echoes like that….. unless they’re packed with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour that is….

Well, that got rid of the 100 degree temps.

Well, that got rid of the 100 degree temps.

Note the change in direction that the flags behind the Ford sign are blowing when compared to the previous picture taken maybe 10 minutes before this one.  The initial burst of hurricane force winds was breathtaking enough, but add a little rain…

I use the word "little" ironically.

I use the word “little” ironically.

This was the first season of the current iteration of Busch Stadium, and as luck would have it, the stadium opens up to the northeast to provide a pretty view of the Arch and city skyline.  The old cookie cutter ballpark from the year before would have cut off a good deal of the wind, but due to this unexpected backdoor entry, the wind and rain funneled into the place and swirled ferociously around the seating areas as fans ran for cover.  If you’ve ever heard of that experiment where you can make a tornado inside of an old two liter bottle by filling it with water and swirling it around very fast… this is exactly what this storm looked like as it created a virtual vortex of rain around the inside of the stadium.

Ummm.... a little help here?

Ummm…. a little help here?

Unlike most storms where the wind will usually calm down as the storm passes by, the destructive gusts associated with this monster were determined to stick around for over half an hour.  There’s what it did to the infield tarp, which the grounds crew valiantly fought to wrangle as the wind seemed determine to blow it halfway across downtown.  And here’s what happens when you don’t take cover in events like this….

After about an hour and a half of brutal winds and torrential rain, the freak storm to end all freak storms did finally pass… and just in time for sunset.

Here's your Fixx of red skies at night.

Here’s your Fixx of red skies at night.

I was lucky to be able to find a great place to be able to watch this storm where I was out of harm’s way and also not near any frantic ushers who were pleading for everyone to move out to the closed off part of the concourse.  I have never before, and may never again (short of spotting a tornado) get to witness a more awesome display of the fierce and frightening side of a thunderstorm.  It was worth the price of admission alone… but hey, they actually managed to get the field in good enough shape to even play the game!

Three likely future Hall of Famers (Yadier Molina, Jones and Albert Pujols) in the same shot.  Way to go, Mom!

Three likely future Hall of Famers (Yadier Molina, Jones and Albert Pujols) all in the same shot. Way to go, Mom!

A storm of this magnitude is not going to pass through without leaving its mark, and that mark was catastrophic.  The prolonged, otherworldly winds shredded the St. Louis area’s power grid like no storm had ever done before, or since.  Many places were without power for days, even weeks… and the heat wave just continued to roll on.  Well, except for about 40 hours later on late Friday morning July 21st when it cooled off a bit thanks to the second worst storm of my lifetime moseying on through… adding to the carnage and undoing a lot of what the army of electric company linesmen had been working feverishly to fix since the first storm.

Said power company (Ameren) took a lot of flak after this storm and two major ice storms the following winter left many with more days of outages than with working electricity from July 2006 to January 2007.  But to their credit, they did launch a massive tree cutting program that made it my way in 2012, and has virtually eliminated storm-caused power outages…

At least until my birthday last week….

That used to be a very, very tall tree.

That used to be a very, very tall tree.

I can’t even complain about the six and a half hours I sat in the dark last Wednesday, because the above picture that I took is of my parents’ backyard.  Their power lines are somewhere under that fallen jungle… and due to the mess that had to be worked around, plus the need for a new meter on the house, they went over 48 hours with no lights or air conditioning in this heat.  It’s eerie, because the day before that poor imitation of the Storm of 2006 rolled through, I was scanning my Mom’s pics that I was going to use in this long-planned out post to my computer.  I did not expect to have to add this postscript on to the end of it before the big anniversary arrived, though…

I hope no squirrels called that tree home when this hit...

I hope no squirrels called that tree home when this hit…

I’ll be back to spit in the wind next week, and on the right day this time….

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