The Shell Game

Whoa! Look at all this cool shit!

Humans tend to be messy creatures.  It’s one of those animalistic traits that thousands of years of civilization hasn’t quite beaten out of our species yet.  Get a whole bunch of people together in one place where they’re going to be eating and drinking, and you’ll likely need a whole team of maids to clean up after them…

Case in point…. have you ever looked underneath the stands of the softball diamond at your local park?  I took a photo once of the mess that was left behind under the bleachers at a Major League Baseball game… and while drinking alcohol in the city park is verboten, there are plenty of other kinds of snacks to partake of while watching out of shape adults try to play an easier version of baseball.  And many of those snacks are crowd pleasers for our squirrel friends…

I can smell a seed a mile away!

Why do humans throw away all of the good stuff?

Look at all of those empty sunflower seed and peanut shells left behind under the bleachers!  Plenty of free food that doesn’t have to be unburied first!  This week’s Saturday Squirrel is getting his fill while cleaning up the edible mess the spectators left behind.  All natural environmental sustainability in action…

I could use a brewski to go with all of these snacks…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Share Your World – Week 229

Yes, people in the 80’s weren’t afraid to touch each other…

May 25, 1986 will go down in history as the day the most ridiculous charity fundraiser in human history was attempted as Hands Across America decided that the best way to raise money to feed hungry people was to try and line up enough people to form a country wide game of Red Rover from coast to coast.  If you’re interested in all of the ways this event was an epic failure (right down to the fact that it’s little remembered today), feel free to check out this ten year old post I wrote mocking Hands Across America.  After numerous highly public events to feed the children of Africa, the organizers of Hands aimed at combating hunger in the US… because what’s the use of helping the world if you can’t even take care of your own problems first?

According to its Wiki page, Hands Across America netted about $15,000,000 once all of its bloated operating expenses were accounted for.  That sounds like a lot…. only it really isn’t given the magnitude of the fundraiser and just how many hungry families there are in the country.  Regardless, the California to New York (almost) human chain will always sit at the top of the list of insane ways to raise money for charity…

I can think of more practical ways to feed the hungry.

And now we’ll leave the fundraising activities to experts like Sally Struthers and go on to answer this week’s Share Your World questions from Di!

It’s about time for Hands Across the World! We just need a few rafts…

Growing up, were you closer to your mother or father, or was it a balance of both depending on the circumstances?

I don’t think I really had a preference for one or the other.  Since my parents both worked odd hours, many times only one of them was around at any given time.  I probably had more “bonding” experiences with my Dad, though (like this one)….

Ody and Spilly preferred my Dad as well…

What was your favorite toy as a child, and do you still have it?

Any toy me or my sisters had was lost or destroyed almost upon receipt.  Probably the one thing I “played with” the most was a nifty electronic typewriter I got from one of my aunts at some point in my early teenage years.  In a day when computers were hardly ubiquitous, I used the hell out of that typewriter to type up all kinds of stuff….. just because I could and it was cool!

I think this may have been the model I had.

And no, I don’t still have it…

Did you have any secrets?

Everyone has secrets.

And no, I’m not going to blow my cover by spilling any of them.

What did you want to be when you grew up, and are you anywhere close?

Like all curious kids who grow up in the central part of the United States, I took an early fascination in the weather…. because our weather is weird, wild and almost always changing.  Though the TV weatherman is the face of meteorology, I never wanted to be one of those clowns…. but the many guys behind the scenes who work in forecasting.  I even went to college and have a degree that says I’m a fucking meteorologist!

But none of that worked out, and instead I’ve stocked shelves and handled the backroom overnights at Mecca for 25 years now.  Good thing, because I forgot all those silly differential equations and complex physics they tried to teach me anyway…

What every child dreams of doing when they grow up!

Gratitude Retro Comic:

The second most ridiculous scheme ever to raise money for charity…..

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#16 – Let Them Eat Steak

As we’ve already seen in this countdown, squirrels will eat, or at least pick at, just about anything edible they find lying around.  That includes our discarded human food, of which the edibility may actually be in doubt.  And while squirrels aren’t carnivores by nature, they’re not exactly strict vegetarians either.

First off, before explaining any more about the set of photos accompanying this squirrel, I should note that I really don’t know what in the hell that large object is that he’s found there.  But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look like a slice of leftover grilled steak.  It would make some sense too since this photo was taken just four days after Memorial Day, one of those traditional American grilling holidays.

Square steak? Opposite of round steak, I guess…

You can see what appear to be sear marks from a grill on the underside of that chewable.  That was the first indication I got that this might be a rare sighting of a meat eating squirrel…

He quickly spotted me and took off up a tree with his treasure.  But not before I was able to get a few more pics of him…

Makes a nice tray table…

Come on, give me a good look at that!

Here you go!

That definitely does look steak-like.  Maybe a bit petrified from laying around for a few days….

Gratuitously blurry close up…

You never know what you’ll find in the park.  For my 16th favorite Saturday Squirrel of All Time, he scored on a grade A cut of Angus beef…

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The Sound Of Old T-Rex

Oh no! It’s an AL-steroid!

It’s Monday again, so time for another look back at the madcap madness that is parodist extraordinaire Weird Al Yankovic!  The Top 30 Weird Al Parodies countdown continues!  The carbon dating tests we did on today’s ancient artifact sealed in amber tells us it’s 30 years old and from the Nineties Era…

#23. “Jurassic Park” – (Parody of “MacArthur Park” – Richard Harris)

Just in time to remind me of the 30th anniversary of my high school graduation next Sunday, we wind the clock back to the prehistoric year of 1993.  A time before everyone and their mother-in-law had cell phones, the internet, and fifty social media accounts to keep track of.  A time that seems about as ancient as…… well, dinosaurs were to the people of the early 90’s.  But the cavemen and cavewomen of 1993 had the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park to remind them of the days when giant reptiles roamed the earth…

Well, and this purple clown.

When our hero Weird Al Yankovic decided to write a parody of the phenomenon that was Jurassic Park (a franchise which continues to be much more popular than my blog, even today), he revisited a prehistoric era himself.  Goddman fucking prog rock.  That hellish time in the annals of FM radio history when the average song was about nine minutes and change long and contained several uncalled for segues to the local symphony orchestra, which absolutely nobody listens to the radio for.

Lucky for us, when Weird Al chose to turn Richard Harris’ “MacArthur Park” into a “Jurassic Park” parody, he shaved about four minutes off that waste of 8-track tape to keep us from falling asleep halfway through…

YAY!  A Weird Al video that actually embeds!  Enjoy the claymation dinosaur shenanigans…

This is the third parody already in this countdown featuring Weird Al recounting the plot of a then-current movie over an established song.  And (spoiler alert) it will also be the last one we’ll see.  While “MacArthur Park” was an obvious fit “Jurassic Park,” it was kinda bold on Weird Al’s part to not only choose a song that was already 25 years old at the time, but one that no classic rock station would touch due to its length… making it a largely a memory only Weird Al’s older fans would have.  I was 18 at the time and had never heard of the original… and in fact, it wasn’t until the brief disco revival at the turn of the millennium that I’d even heard Donna Summer’s cover for the first time.

Not even disco could save “MacArthur Park” from being a turd.

Alright, pop quiz!  Which country in the world embraced Weird Al’s “Jurassic Park” the most?  America, right?  Of course not.  MTV, in the middle of its “Buzz Clips” era, pretty much yanked the video for this song out of their rotation after a few days… keeping it from getting the exposure it needed to be big here.

So where did “Jurassic Park” not only become a huge favorite, but even a Top 5 hit?

Don’t wanna be a Canadian idiot… (That’s another Weird Al parody, not an insult!)

Yep, Canada!  The land of Celine Dion and Justin Bieber.  Go figure, eh?

More of the Weird Al countdown next Monday!

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Creepy Critter

The clown face of squirrels.

Have you ever looked too closely at something very common…. a thing or even a word…. and concentrated so hard on it that it made what was once familiar almost unrecognizable?  Stare at a color image printed on paper, and it suddenly morphs into a vast multitude of colored dots.  Keep saying the word particular over and over again and it just becomes…… weird.

OK, maybe that’s just me.  But check out this squirrel above.  At first glance, it doesn’t seem very noteworthy.  A squirrel looking towards the camera, mouth agape due to a nut it’s carrying…

Do me a favor and click on that photo, so it shows up nice and big on your monitor (I hope you read my blog with a PC, otherwise it probably looks really weird anyway on a phone screen).  Now stare at the squirrel’s face.  Keep looking at it.  Did a cute squirrel face just go right into the uncanny valley for you?

Squirrels’ eyes are normally pretty dark to begin with unless light’s directly reflecting off of them… but combined with that nut turning his mouth into one really bizarre, blacked out soul sucking grin makes his face look more like an off-putting Halloween mask.  At least I think it does….

This week’s Saturday Squirrel…. cute or creepy?  You decide.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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