Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The White Streak

I bought a little game camera to place around the house to see if I could capture footage of animals I don't normally see.

This came about because an opossum scared the wits out of me the other night when it was thumping around on the front porch. I wondered what else might be out there.

So far, mostly I captured 1,500 shots of rain drops and a tree blowing in the wind.

But then there was this:

This intriguing streak across the camera that occurred in the early morning hours on Saturday.

I have no idea what it is. A piece of a tree branch blown off in the wind? A bug? A bat?

A wayward snowflake?

A ghost?

Anyway, so far it's the most interesting image to come out of my game camera. We'll see what else shows up as time passes and I keep moving the thing to different spots around the exterior of the house.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

This is stuff from Australia, courtesy of one of the Sunday Stealers who lives in Australia. Some of the things I looked up, some I didn't.

1. Where to you land on the subject of vegemite? What is the optimum butter/vegemite ratio? Do you also eat Promite or Marmite or do you see these yeast spreads as something akin to treason?

A. I think this is where I land on Vegemite: Lucy on Vitameatavegamine.

2. Who was your favourite Prime Minister of the last ten years? (There have been five – choose wisely.)

A. I'm going to go with Kevin Rudd.

3.  Are you a Monarchist or a Republican? Why?

A. I googled this and couldn't find anything to explain to me what this means in Australia. But I'm going to go with Monarchist. 

4.  What do you think of our current head of state?

A. As best I can tell, that is Queen Elizabeth of England. She's had a long run at it.

5.  What are your feelings on compulsory voting.

A. I think it is a good thing and I wish it were that way in the United States.

6.  What is your favourite footy food?

A. I am making an assumption that has to do with sports, so I'll say potato chips.

7.  Your Nana is having her 80th catered for by the CWA. What CWA standards are you looking forward to at the spread? The Victoria Sponge? Yoyos? Asparagus Rolls? Brandy Snaps?

A. Not the asparagus rolls. But the Brandy snaps are divine.

8. What do you do on ANZAC Day?

A. Have a bit of meat on the barby.

9.  Discuss the merits of budgie smugglers.

A. They have no merits, not a single one.

10. What is outside your back door? Gumboots or thongs?

A. Nothing. I keep my shoes in the garage.

11. As a kid you were given 20 cents for pick and mix. What will be in your bag? Teeth? Spearmint leaves? Gobstoppers? Freckles?

A. A Milky Way bar and a Grape Nehi.

12.  Redbacks or Huntsmen?

A. Huntsmen.

13.   The Mullet. Discuss.

A. They are overfished and more regulations are needed to protect the 16 difference species.

14.   Kath or Kim?

A. Katy.

15. Cricket – which code do your follow? Why? Do you think that 20/20 games are sacrilege?

A. Don't follow sports at all, sorry.

16.   Football. Which code do you follow? Do you have an opinion about Collingwood or Essendon?

A. Same answer. Not a sports fan.

17.   Do you agree that the lyrics to Khe Sahn should be on the citizenship test? Do you know the words to Khe Sahn?

A. I don't think the lyrics to anything should be on any citizenship test regardless of the country.

18. What is your favourite public holiday? If you're in Victoria, which do you prefer? The day off before the AFL Grand Final or Melbourne Cup Day?

A. Oh, Melbourne Cup Day all the way.

19.   What do you do at Christmas? Ham sandwich on the beach? Seafood and salad next to the pool? Endure a full English roast with all the trimmings when the thermometer is pushing 35 degrees centigrade outside?

A. If I can change the seafood to something I'm not allergic to (chicken?), then let's sit next to the pool.

20.  Ford or Holden?

A. Ford.

21.  What is the best Australian invention ever? (And yes, the Hills Hoist can be mentioned)

A. Scratch-resistant plastic lens for glasses.

22.   Describe the following:

    Fairy bread - little crumbs the fairies pick up after you go to sleep at night.
    Lamingtons - isn't this the elven bread that Frodo and Sam ate in Lord of the Rings?
    Chiko rolls - chicken rolled up in cabbage.
    Snot blocks - daycare centers.

23.  What are the following traditional items found in all Australian homes?

    Dead horse - this seems self-explanatory. Great-grandpa's horsie all set up and ready to ride. Taxidermist must be a great job in Australia.
    Hills Hoist - This would be the same thing as a kitchen mixer, I presume
    A slab - ready-made coffin so that when you go all you have to do is lay down and they close the lid
    A ute - a form of guitar, like a lute but without the "l" - so I presume it is missing a string.

24.   Who is your all time Australian hero?

A. Tommy Emanuel, who is an Australian guitarist that I've actually heard play here in the States.

25.   Translate the following: “Strewth! Nev was going flat out like a lizard drinking. But he had a nana nap and he's raring. Told him to get here pronto by not to miss the gate cos it’s impossible to chuck a u-ey for miles. Told him to bring a slab. We’ll have a barby. The kiddies can have snags. Joe the Pom will moan about everything. Jeez, he’s a bastard. Yeah…nah… no flies on him.

A. Goddamnit! He was driving fast and hit a water spot and spun out! But he stopped the car, backed it up, and started going again. I told him to get here immediately and not to forget to stop at the convenience store because there isn't another one for miles. I told him to bring his coffin, too, because we're going to have a helluva party at the BBQ. The kids can have Benedryl to put them to sleep. Joe, that old ape, will whine about everything because Jeez, he's just a bastard. But that other guy never stops.

26.  What is your favourite Australian holiday spot?

A. Whatever one I am at.

27.  Do you eat the coat of arms?

A. No, I put my arms in my coat and wear it.

28.  You are stuck in a lift with the following: Karl Stefanovic, Peter Dutton and Alan Jones. Who do you kill last?

A. Karl Stefanovic.

29.   What is the NBN?

A. National Bouncing Nation. It's because of the kangaroos.

30.   “Where the bloody hell are you?” Discuss.

A. I'm the bloody hell in Virginia. Where the bloody hell are you?

31. Complete the following sayings.

    Am I ever going to see your face again? - Hell no, you one-eyed turnip eater!
    You're terrible, - you cockneyed piece of seashore driftwood!
    Coupla days, - you're gonna regret you ate that Barby.

32. Potato scallops or potato cakes?

A. Potato cakes.

33. Provide three uses for cane toads.

A. (1) Lick them and get high. (2) Suck on their little feet and get high. (3) Take away their canes and watch them limp down the road as they try to find a pond.

34. If you give a politician a koala to cuddle, what is the likely outcome?

A. The koala will rip the politician's throat into shreds.

35. Bagpipes are perfectly at home in rock songs. Discuss.

A. I don't see why not. Bagpipes, if they are played well, can blend right in with some wild guitar and a good bit of drums.

36. What is a Tim Tam Slam?

A. That's where you take the hat off the head of a guy named Tim and you slam it into the wall.

37. If I ask for a FruChoc, where am I from? What are FruChocs?

A. You're asking for chocolate-covered fruit, and you're from AUSTRALIA.

I encourage you to visit other participants in
Sunday Stealing posts and leave a comment. Cheers to all us thieves who love memes, however we come by them.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday 9: The Middle

Saturday 9: The Middle (2018)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about compromise. When did you recently give in a little and meet someone halfway?

A. I'm married. I'm pretty sure I do that nearly every day.

2) She sings that the floors are wet. Are there any floors in your home that could use a good scrub today? If you answered "yes," will those floors get cleaned this weekend?

A. My floors were mopped a few days ago. They are clean.

3) She also sings that the cabinets are bare. What's currently on your shopping list?

A. According to my husband there is nothing to eat in the house, but the only thing on my list on the refrigerator is lotion. I guess you can't eat that.

4) You may be familiar with this song from Target's TV commercials. Do you often shop at Target?

A. Not very often and I don't remember ever hearing this song before.

5) The lead vocal is handled by Maren Morris, a Grammy winner for "My Church," which is all about singing with the car radio. What's the last song you sang along with?

A. Uptown Funk.

6) This past April, Maren married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd and they have performed onstage together. Who is the last person you sang along with?

A. Probably my friend Teresa. But generally I only sing by myself.

7) This song was composed by brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. With their bleached hair and sunglasses, they look like a pair of surfer dudes -- which they are, having grown up in Huntington Beach, CA. Is there a body of water near your hometown?

A. We are not that far from Smith Mountain Lake, which is a manmade lake put in place to create electricity.

8) January 2018, when this song debuted, we had a total lunar eclipse. When things like that happen in the sky, do you go out of your way to watch?

A. Yes, I do.

9) Random question -- They say we're all young at heart. In what way can you be childlike?

A. I like to be brought presents, even if it's a box of Tic-Tacs.


I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Thursday Thirteen - Stairway to Heaven

Since today is the day that Led Zeppelin released the album with Stairway to Heaven on it, here are some facts about that song and the band.

1. Every guitar store I've ever been in has a sign up that says, "No playing Stairway to Heaven" or some derivative thereof. (I have been known to play it anyway. Softly. Nobody's ever said anything.)

2. Led Zeppelin has sold more than 100 million records in the United States.

3. Stairway to Heaven, which is arguably the most famous rock song of all time, was never a hit on the charts because it was never released as a single to the general public. However, on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, all of Led Zeppelin's back catalogue became available for download in the UK, and the track made the singles chart for the first time.

4. Led Zepplin has received Kennedy Honors, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (the latter in 2005).

5. Robert Plant wrote the words to the song. The song is basically about a woman who accumulates money, which she thinks will get her into heaven, but she finds out that is not the case. Plant called it, "a woman getting everything she wanted without giving anything back."

6. Plant had to defend the song in court 2016 as part of a plagiarism trial over this song. He said he wrote the song and first played it for his band at Headley Grange in Liphook Road, Headley, Hampshire. This is also where they recorded it, using a mobile studio owned by The Rolling Stones. Headley Grange was a huge, old, dusty mansion with no electricity but great acoustics. (The jury in the plagiarism trial ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin, deciding that the chord progression in dispute was common to many other songs dating back decades, and therefore, in the public domain. However, the case this year was sent back to trial on appeal.)

7. Plant wrote the lyrics in a flash of inspiration. "I was holding a pencil and paper, and for some reason I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold/And she's buying a stairway to heaven.' I just sat there and looked at the words and then I almost leapt out of my seat," he said.

8. After the song became famous, many people decided it was inspired by Satan, and that there were messages on the album if you played it backwards. Plant, in Musician magazine, said that Stairway To Heaven, "was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music. It's really sad. The first time I heard it was early in the morning when I was living at home, and I heard it on a news program. I was absolutely drained all day. I walked around, and I couldn't actually believe, I couldn't take people seriously who could come up with sketches like that. There are a lot of people who are making money there, and if that's the way they need to do it, then do it without my lyrics. I cherish them far too much."

9. The song is 8:03 minutes long. It is still thought to be the most-played song on American FM radio.

10. It has sold more sheet music than any other rock song, selling about 1 million copies total. About 10,000 to 15,000 copies of the sheet music are still sold each year.

11. This was the only song whose lyrics were printed on the inner sleeve of the album at its initial release.

12. There is no bass guitar in this song. Instead, it has a string section, keyboards, and flutes. There are also wooden recorders used in the intro.

13. There are no drums in this song until 4:18 minutes into the music.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 577th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Nutty Squirrel