One of the Days Towards the End and the Exploding Whale

The Oregon Highway Division failed to dispose ...
The Oregon Highway Division failed to dispose of this whale carcass properly when they blew it up with half a ton of dynamite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1970 in Florence Oregon. The mighty ocean disgorges on the shore a blubbery, dead sperm whale. Because the Oregon beach is a public right of way, the state Highway Division has to clean up the mess. But how? They can’t bury the whale because the ocean tides will simply regurgitate the disgusting carcass. They can’t burn the creature because they don’t have the firepower and the fumes would develop and spread the horrible stench on the coast. Deep in the thick skull of an city engineer, a plan hatches:  “Let’s use a half ton of dynamite blast the whale towards the sea.”

What could go wrong?  The earthshaking explosion pulverized only part of the whale, sending hunks of mortified flesh soaring — not toward the ocean, as planned, but toward people watching from the dunes.  A massive slab of flying blubber crushed a parked sedan. Remarkably, no onlookers were injured. They were, however, soaked in a misty rain of rancid whale slurry.
Some of them were so upset, they didn’t just cry, they WAILED.




How to Stop Viscous Dog Attacks

Trained attack dog Samo leaps forward toward a...
Image via Wikipedia

One of my pet peeves is irresponsible dog owners who don’t lease their dogs.

Every runner has been chased or barked at by an obnoxious loose canine. All animals, including humans, are unpredictable.  A dog owner who lets his Rottweiler, Pit-bull, or Doberman run loose and says, “Oh, my dog won’t bite, he’s friendly” is mistaken. I am always cautious when I see dog, even when the owner is close. But the dogs that concern me the most are the ones without an owner in sight.

Facing a huge beast with sharp teeth and iron jaws can be frightening, but there are a few actions that may prevent an attack from a dangerous dog.

  • Stop RUNNING. Do not yell or make loud noises or make sudden movements.
  • Stand still; pretend you’re a tree. Slowly cross your arms over your chest, as if you are giving yourself a great, big hug.
  • Look away from the dog’s eyes. Also, DON’T SMILE or show your teeth to the dog.  Direct eye contact and the bearing of teeth are signs of aggression to a dog. Usually, simply standing still and avoiding direct eye contact will cause the dog to lose interest. If the dog approaches. Talk to the dog in a firm low voice. If it sniffs you, just let it sniff. Don’t stare at it and don’t make any sudden movements.
  • If the dog isn’t showing further signs of aggression, but isn’t moving. Toss a rock, stick, or anything else away from you and away from the dog. The sound should attract grab the dog’s attention. The dog will usually move toward the thrown object to sniff and investigate it. This will give you a chance to slowly turn and walk away. Once you are far enough way from the dog, you can resume your run. If you live in a neighborhood full of unleashed dogs, you might want to run with a tennis ball. That way, you’ll have something to throw.
  • Carry Pepper Spray <—–Shameless Product Plug. This is a last resort and should only be used if the dog tries to attack. Nevertheless, it’s one of items that is “better to have and not need than to need and not have.”

Sobering, true story about a dog attack close to home.

My neighbor enjoyed breeding pit-bulls; he swore that they were misunderstood and very docile animals.

One day he was sitting on his couch watching television. Bella, his female pit-bull,  jumped up on the coffee table and licked his face. Since he was trying to watch TV, he told her stop. But she kept licking. So, he decided to put his hands on her head to turn her face away. He had a mouthful of chips and turned to her with his mouth open, her sharp  powerful teeth sunk into his lower jaw. Luckily she didn’t clamp down for long. But the full force of her bite brought an ambulance to his house and left him visible scars on his lower jaw. When he got out of the hospital, he told me that the didn’t which was more painful the bite or his having to put Bella down.

On that happy note, have a great day!

Was that too much of a downer?

Read my light hearted post about “man’s best friend”.

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Fast Food One Liners

I was talking to a friend of mine  who eats fast food, she told me about a sticker she saw at KFC drive-through. It was for “KFC Scholars”; some BS program that purports to help their employees pay for college or something like that. I HATE KFC and fast food in general; so, I couldn’t resist writing some stupid barefoot take-offs:

KFC on King street in Kingston, Jamaica
Image via Wikipedia
  1. KFC Scholars:  Fill your Mind with Fowl Thoughts.
  2. KFC Scholars: We teach you How to Pass Chicken.
  3. KFC Scholars: Learn to Hatch It Yourself! (Gotta say that one fast.)
  4. KFC Scholars: Because you don’t need to be an egghead have bird-brains.
  5. KFC Scholars: Surround yourself with chicks and cocks.
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Here’s a Quick Way to Laugh or Roll your Eyes


Some Silly Stick Captions.
Caption #1:
I told you the new ginsus were sharp!

OK, OK, I admit it: you can take this minimalist lifestyle thing too far. 





That’s what happens when you watch too much TV.
What people look like to someone suffering from an acute case of Pacman fever. 





What your spouse looks standing in the doorway after your first ultra.
The first thing everyone looks at when they attend their own funeral.
A Grisly Bear’s Trophy Wall.


It’s Lame to Have a Blog Post about Image Captions with Images to Caption and Nothing asking visitors Not Hotlink WHILE PERMITTING HOT-LINKING. Then for no good reason, just turning off Hot-Linking. That’s screwy. I wouldn’t have hot-linked had I known. When you urge people to caption your photos in a blog post about blog ideas, you have to expect your readers to assume that hot-linking is OK. I mean, it is a post for bloggers who want to BLOG captions for the IMAGES–at least make download links or mention “No hotlinks”. I came home from a nice hike and was greeted with busted post. I had re-create the images from memory. What is this the 90s!?


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Ghosts of Santa Cruz

The Haunted Coast.

They say the California Central Coast is full of ghosts, that with the mists, clouds, and fog the sea brings apparitions. You never feel quite alone near the sea, especially when the hazy light fades.

I’ve felt the touch of spirits, good and bad. The good, on one of my trial runs at UCSC. It was mid day but a type of fog the natives call “pogonip” covered the sun. It filled the forest with cool drizzle. The damp charged the scent of eucalyptus and bay leaf. As I emerged from the tree covered path and entered the meadow, a burst of sun beams broke through the fog; they shined through the hole in the clouds above me. It was as if a window to heaven had opened up. I was stunned; I stopped running and just looked up in amazement at the mysterious portal. A rush of warm air blasted down. It smelled of fresh roses, strawberries, and mint. With the scent came an overcoming thrill of joy. I laughed. When I came to my senses, the portal had closed. I inhaled deeply, then continued my run. From that point onward, I had the distinct sense that someone watching over me. It was a little discomforting at first because it was so pronounced and lasted for weeks. I felt self-conscious taking showers, going to restroom, and doing other personal things. Either I got used to feeling or it went away.

A few days later, a daydreaming mother of three side swiped my Corolla. After the impact, I stepped from my car to find out if the woman who hit me was OK. She and her children were fine. I returned to my vehicle to retrieve my insurance information. Just before reaching into my glove compartment, I felt a presence tugging on my shoulder, urging me to step away from the car. I looked at the road, but it was clear. Nevertheless, the pressure to get off of the road overcame me. I left the insurance information in the car and walked to the curb. As soon as I got to the curb a huge SUV zoomed around the corner and slammed into my car, completely wrecking it.

The other supernatural encounter I had at UCSC was not so positive. It was downright frightening. And I hope it never happens again. It was about a week before the angel came to me. I was hiking across the street from family student housing. It’s an “off limits” hidden trail. The hike started out pleasant enough. I crossed a dilapidated bridge, then spied an inviting side trail. It was narrow had clovers and wild strawberries on the sides. Soon the vegetation gave way to looming redwoods, which darkened the path considerably. As I followed the trail, a growing sense of dread emerged. It got to point where I was in a panic, almost overcome with terror. I felt as I would lose my mind if stepped further, as if some malicious presence would take control. My hair raised, my heart raced. An alarm was triggered in me; it told me told me run, to get the hell out of there ASAP! But when I tried to run, I couldn’t. I was frozen in place. I tried to yell, but my voice didn’t work. Then I heard a branch snap near a ring of huge, ominous Redwoods. I know no one else was on that trial. Whatever had snapped the twig wasn’t human or animal. I knew I could not be alone with it. But I couldn’t move and I knew it was approaching. I forced myself to imagine a peregrine falcon (my totem animal) flying overhead. The grip of terror broke. I bolted off the trail and ran home.

A few days later, I decided to run an experiment, I took someone else with me to the same area, determined not to venture as far this time. I did not tell her what had happened to me the last time I went there. Sure enough, the person I was with had the same alarm signals go off. She turned to me and said, “This place is evil. We need to go.”

These are the places of power, some good, some evil. Their energy cannot be denied. Tread barefoot, it’s easier tell which is which.

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Soft Grass is Dangerous

One of the many joys in life is walking barefoot on wet grass. It’s like a foot massage from the hot Goddess Universe. But running barefoot on grass is packed with danger.

Many drunken teenagers, careless hicks, and serial polluters turn dreamy lawns into a runner’s nightmare. Camouflaged shards of glass, rusted nails, snapped screws, and wet feces of all kinds lurk between the gentle green blades of seductive lawns. If you know you are in a remote area, then running on the grass can be great, but in most cities, it must be done with great caution and should NOT be done completely bare.

Last week I almost stepped on a razor sharp shard from a green “rolling rock” beer bottle. It was embedded in a park lawn like those evil tire spikes at drive-in movies. If I had been running, I most definitely would have sliced my foot wide open. Those kinds of deep tissue injuries can become serious fast, especially when they attack your precious feet. Walking home with such an injury can easily lead to infection.

Beware the tempting green goddess, she can change into a bleeding red devil in a moment. For lawn running, it’s best to wear minimalist shoes. They offer much better protection against such dangers.