Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 1/27/2011

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

In order to help primary school children understand what it must have been like to live during the London Blitz in World War II, the administrators of a Lancashire school decided to tell the children that World War III had started, set off a siren, hustled them all down into the school's cellar while fireworks were set off to simulate a bombing attack. Yes, the students were scared. Yes, the parents are upset. "The idea of it was to get the children to empathise with what it was like. The big concern we had was that the children wouldn't believe it. Unfortunately we made it too real. After that we spent all the rest of the afternoon explaining to them that it wasn't." Take note; convincing the kids that they're under attack is not the best way to teach history...

You may recall the story from the September 23rd Nut Cache about the young woman who stabbed a man over his insults about her smelly feet? Well, the verdict in that case has been handed down, and I think I like this judge. First, he didn't overlook the fact that sticking a knife into someone is always a serious matter, and gave the young lady in question 15 months in prison. But Snohomish County Superior Court Judge David Kurtz also got a little creative, and assigned, in addition to the jail time, a term paper. Six pages on "how the excessive drinking of alcohol can destroy lives." Let's hope the lesson sinks in.

By now, you may have already heard about the car salesman in Chicago who got fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie the day after the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC Championship game. I have some thoughts... It seems the dealership he worked for spent $20,000 per month during the football season advertising with the Chicago Bears. His boss told him 5 times to take of his tie. My Dad always told me that, when you work for somebody and you're on their time, you represent them. And unless it infringes on moral conscience, you do what the boss tells you to. This man wasn't being told to lie, cheat, or steal, he was being told to change his tie. He refused, and he got fired. Move along... there's nothing to see here...

Some criminals do some really dumb things... sometimes they're so dumb that you really don't know what to say. I don't know what to say about this... except that I'm wondering if they'll charge her with vehicular assault, as well? (h.t. Mrs Grasshopper & Blue, who both sent me this story.)

(h.t. Klet)We've all dialed a wrong number from time to time. Perhaps you've even left a voice mail at the wrong number. Well, a deployed British soldier left a marriage proposal for his girlfriend at the wrong number, and he wont be able to call her again for a month. Diane Potts, who's answering machine the message was left on, is now trying to locate "Samantha", the girl for whom the proposal was intended. Now that the story is in the press, I hope Samantha hears about it. Might just be one of the most memorable proposals ever! It's certainly one of the most public.

Let's face it, there are a lot of things out there that can distract us. And sometimes we do things when we should be paying attention to something else (like operating a motor vehicle...) Some people feel that it is there business to protect us from ourselves. Like Brooklyn Sen. Karl Kruger, who is looking to ban things like cell phones and iPods for pedestrians crossing the street. Gee, I wonder if anyone deep in thought ever wandered in front of a chariot in ancient Rome?

There have been a lot of high tech attempts to smuggle drugs. Just last July, Ecuadoran authorities captured a 100-foot submarine that was equipped for drug-smuggling. Now it seems that some smugglers are trying a low-tech way to get those drugs across the border. American customs agents, operating a spy-drone along the border with Mexico, spotted a 10-foot trebuchet, at type of medieval catapult, being set up on the Mexican side. The Americans contacted Mexican police, who seized 45 pounds of marijuana, an SUV, and the catapult, which was mounted on a flatbed trailer. I wonder who thought this was a good scheme?

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Effects of the Rapture

"The effect on others of the rapture has caused a great deal of curiosity and serious discussion among Christians. What is going to be the effect of the rapture? I don’t know anything in the Bible that says anything specifically about the effect on the world of the rapture. I am wondering what is going to be the effect on the world. Perhaps the effect of the voice that came to Paul when he met the Lord Jesus on the Damascus road illustrates it, for remember, when Paul heard from the Lord, others heard a sound but did not understand the voice that was spoken.

"Perhaps Michael when he gets on that trumpet of God shall make such a sound that people will hear a sound of some kind, but will not understand what it is, and we will go to be with the Lord. I do know this, that they will have an explanation for it. People will believe anything. All you have to do to see that is look at Candid Camera and the kinds of things that happened there and the beliefs that people have.

"I know one thing. I wish that it were possible for me to remain one week after the rapture. I have not prayed this prayer because that would be an unscriptural prayer, but you know, I would like to remain one week afterwards so I could attend about a half a dozen liberal churches to hear the explanations that are given for the rapture, but I’m sure that comes from my old nature." -S. Lewis Johnson

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The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 1/20/2011

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

Fine arts and arts&crafts don't really mix. At least not in my mind. But some, it seems, have less... refined... tastes. Last week, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! proudly announced their acquisition of Leonardo d'Vinci's The Last Supper, reproduced in fine... dryer lint. Michigan artist Laura Bell is undeniably talented in her unique art medium.

No doubt, the country has gotten a lot of snow this winter. I've stated publicly before, but I don't mind repeating, that, the older I get, the less I enjoy winter. It seems that school officials in the sleepy little town of Raynham, Massachusetts, don't want the young to enjoy winter much, either. Behind the Raynham Middle School is what is reported to be an excellent sledding hill. Problem is; sleds go fast, kids fall off, kids get hurt. Add to that, the sled hill bottoms out in the school parking lot. So, now, the school has banned sledding on the hill behind the Raynham Middle School. It is a wonder how kids survived for all those years before reasonable sled control laws were enacted...

There are a lot of reasons to continue doing something stupid: anger, intoxication, ignorance... Jordan Weiman, 20, of Cambridge, mowed down 41 mailboxes with a car out of... "frustration." Well, actually, he said the first couple were accidental... the other 39 were due to frustration. How was he caught? One of those residents "provided police with part of a car bumper he found by his smashed box — with the license plate still attached." And it was his sister's car, too. Bet she's a bit frustrated with her brother over this...

It's the talk of late-night paranormal radio. There have been countless books and articles (and jokes) written about it. There was even a (really bad, imho) blockbuster movie about it. I am, of course, referring to the whole "the world will end in 2012, the Mayans said so" thing. And we all know that extinct civilizations are never wrong, right? Anyway, it sees that, according to Seth Rogen anyway, myth-master and father of Jar Jar Binks, George Lucas himself, is a True Believer in the 2012 madness. Remember, once you reject the truth, it isn't a question of whether or not you'll believe a lie, but only a question of which lie will you believe.

I'm not at all in the extreme when it comes to environmental issues, but I'm all in favor of clean green technology where it is economic and practical. But this is a little ghoulish...

Just when you think it's safe to go back in the water... "The incident prompted a warning from police that blow-up sex toys are 'not recognized flotation devices'." Um, yeah... thanks... I was wondering about that...

In Soviet Russia, fox shoots hunter...

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 1/13/2011

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

I've got to admit that it has been something that has puzzled me for quite some time: Where does the state legislature come up with some of those really goofy ideas they sometimes propose to turn into laws? Come on, you've wondered too... Well, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer might just be on to something. Gov. Schweitzer has discovered that, according to state alcohol sales data, liquor sales go up in Helena, the state capital, and drop off everywhere else in the state, when the Legislature is in session. It is starting to make more sense to me, now...

I really really really don't know how well the groom missing the wedding because he was in jail would go over with most brides. The groom in question was doing sixty days in jail for violating a court ordered curfew related to public intoxication charges, but says that he plans to go through with the wedding when he gets out. My advice to the bride: Run. Run now. Run far. Don't think you can help a guy grow up. You're much better off finding a guy who is already grown up. Just a thought.

I'll admit right up front that the person involved has some pretty good mitigating circumstances: He is not native to the country, let alone the area; the weather was bad, it was snowing, and visibility was not at its best; and he is 72 years old. Having said all that, I do think getting lost and driving around for three days without stopping and asking someone where, exactly, he was, is taking the whole male "I've got it" attitude a little bit too far. His excuse? He said his sat-nav (that's Brit-speak for "GPS device") was broken. Mr. Bellazrak, please take a small piece of advice from a former truck driver and keep a good, old-fashioned paper map in the glovebox.

Now our next... guest?... has a much better excuse for not being able to find his house. You see, when he got home, his house was no longer there. Andre Hall had bought a long-vacant house on Motor Street in Pittsburgh and had been working to fix it up. The house next door was also vacant, and had been for a long time. The city had condemned the vacant house and scheduled it for demolition. When Mr. Hall got home, he found that his house, containing all of his tools and construction materials, had also been demolished, even though the city had sent a letter to the demolition contractor telling them not to demolish Mr. Hall's house ("DO NOT DEMOLISH" in nice big bold words). Mr. Hall's family was scheduled to move in in 3 weeks. I sincerely hope things work out for them. (The contractor involved is P.J. Deller, Inc., 125 Walcott Drive, Gibsonia, PA 15044 if you wanted to drop them a note...)

It is a cliché and a well-worn comic gag in television and movies, most famous, it would seem, from it's use in the 1983 movie A Christmas Story. It is also true. Yes, children, your tongues really will stick to metal poles when it is below freezing outside. A first-grader in Woodward, Oklahoma, recently found out the hard way. It seems it happens often enough that the EMT's knew exactly what to do and had the poor lad free in just a few minutes. There was "some skin loss". Ouch.

As a student, I remember wondering just how well most adults would do on some of the pop-quizzes they used to surprise us with if somebody sprung one on them without warning. Well, now we know how the Idaho State Legislature did. Tom Luna, head of Idaho's public schools, hit 27 legislators with a pop quiz will demonstrating some new equipment the state had acquired for its schools. Not everyone passed. I wonder if a check of Idaho sales records would record a similar trend in alcohol sales to those in Montana?

In Reconvilier, Switzerland, town officials are not happy about the numbers of dog owners who are not paying the annual $50 tax on dogs. In fact, so many people haven't paid that city officials want to dust off a law from 1904 that lets them... "dust off" the unlicensed pooches. That's right, it's "Pay up, or the puppy gets it." Townsfolks, it seems, like their dogs more than they like their bureaucrats; since the news of the plan got out, there have been death threats made towards the civil servants at city hall. Ah, it's a dog-eat-dog world...

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 1/8/2011

A Saturday Nut Special!

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

With all the hoopla surrounding Arizona's "harsh" new laws regarding those who are in our country illegally, I guess we've never stopped to think about the places where illegals have to work really really hard to get deported. I wouldn't have thought Idaho would be a place that would be lenient towards lawbreakers, but I could be wrong. It seems like 38-year-old Guadalupe Cruz-Vasquez, who was in the United States illegally, really wanted to be deported. He even went into a police station and demanded to be deported. The cops, it seems, were busy with something else, and refused his demands... so he stole a cop car. Yep, caught and deported. Cops could have saved themselves the cost of that broken car window if they'd have just shipped him home when he first turned himself in.

I used to work as a security guard at a sawmill. Of course, employees who worked on the floor of the sawmill where not allowed to receive phone calls except in an emergency. I mean, it just didn't work to disrupt the production line by calling someone away to the telephone. Spouses, however, were very creative with the definition of "emergency." Often, these were just manipulative tactics to try to circumvent the rules. But, at other times, it was genuine panic about something that really wasn't an emergency. That's what I was thinking of when I read this story about a man who "butt-dialed" his wife, who panicked when he wasn't on the other end and called the cops, because "someone was holding him hostage." 30+ heavily armed SWAT officers then proceeded to the Illinois school, where the husband in question was attending a school board meeting. He'd already left, and gone home. Oops...

Back in September, I brought you the story of Romanian witches fighting new taxes on their... craft. In September, I told you that the proposed tax on witches and fortune-tellers in Romania had been defeated. Well, it's a new year, and, this time, the witches lost. And now they're not happy about having to pay these new taxes. Some of the... enchanters... see a silver lining in their new financial situation: the fact that, for the first time in Romania's history, witches, astrologers, and fortune-tellers are now listed as trades in the countries labor code. Me, I think it's another case of the over-regulation of business by lawmakers who are trying to conjure up more revenue during these hard economic times...

What do you do? You're being pulled over by the police on a traffic stop, and you know that you're wanted by the police. Well, that's the situation that faced Jonothan Ray Gonsalez when he was pulled over in Great Falls, Montana, last Monday. What did he do? Why, he gave the police another guy's name. He gave them Timothy Michael Koop's name, in fact. But, as luck would have it, bad luck for Mr. Gonsalez, Mr. Koop was also wanted by the police. That's the problem when you're a dumb criminal; all your friends are likely dumb criminals, too. The article doesn't say, but I believe that the police are still looking for Mr. Koop...

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 1/6/2011

Welcome to the first Nut Cache of 2011! The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

You planned the heist & pulled it off. The police have no clue who you and your cohorts are. You've gotten away with it. You're home free. That is, until you get mad and call the police to complain that the list of stolen items they released to the press is incomplete. Yup, dumb criminals strike again! (The Chatham Ontario police departments #2 is almost a good: a kid called to complain that his parents had smashed his bong...)

I'm sure that, in times past, hard working scribes spilled wine on the parchments they were working on. I know that I've spilled water, coca-cola, and coffee on multiple keyboards and laptops. In fact, despite multiple cleanings, the keyboard I'm using now has a sticky back-arrow key from a glass of Coca-Cola a few months back. Spilling liquids on your work is nothing new, but rarely does it make national news. Hey, Boeing? Maybe a redesign on the cup holders in the cockpit of the 777?

Last month, the governor of Egypt's South Sinai province, Mohamed Abdul Fadil Shousha, exposed a Zionist plot to damage the Egyptian economy, and suggested that Israeli spies had released sharks off of Egyptian beaches in an effort to hurt the Egyptian tourist trade. Now it seems that Saudi Arabia has captured an Israeli spy, disguised as a vulture. (Part of me finds this hilariously amusing, but part of me finds the fact that people believe this stuff frightening as can be...)

Last week, a record-breaking snowfall paralyzed New York City. Because it took so long to clear the streets, the trash was not picked up for days, and piled up on the sidewalk. On New Yorker is still alive because that trash piled up (even though he didn't want to be.) A 26-year-old man jumped out of his 9th-floor apartment in what is believed to have been a suicide attempt, but, instead of the concrete sidewalk, he landed on a mound of snow-covered trash bags. Smelly, but alive, he was taken to a hospital.

And the Nuttiness goes on and on...

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

Alpha & Omega Ministries' The Prosapologian chat channel has move to a more secure network. Channel rats, please note new server info on the Alpha & Omega Ministries website!

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thank You All!

The goal has been met! Today at church, the church treasurer informed me that, in the last week, checks totaling $500 had come into the church earmarked for the pastor's conference fund. The Superior Baptist Church Pastor's Conference Fund has received a grand total of $1208!

Well, you did it, and I am so very, very grateful! This puts me way over the top, exceeding my fundraising goal of $1000 and covering the entire cost of the trip to the 2011 Shepherds' Conference. I can't tell you how much this means to me! I will, of course, do daily blog posts from the conference (with pictures), although I don't think I'm talented enough to live-blog it.

I also want to meet as many SquirrelFans as might be attending. So, if you read A Squirrel in Babylon and you are going to be at the Shepherds' Conference, let me know.

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