Welcome to ToTG!

October 30, 2014

Death is Sweet

Well, it can be.  Swedish candy maker Roland Ohisson was buried in a chocolate coffin.

And no, that's not him lying in his coffin, but you can buy some similar.

October 29, 2014

Heteropoda davidbowie

David Bowie has a spider species named after him, the Heteropoda davidbowie.

Not sure I see the resemblance, but...

October 28, 2014


poltergeist \ POHL-ter-gahyst \ noun

1. a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.

I'm pretty sure most everyone is familiar with this word, especially after the movie.

October 27, 2014

Amazing in Yellow Trousers

Here's what just hit my spam folder:

And here's the text of the message with the URL removed:

amazing lady!
for  plain-lookin man!
hello I gave a promise you that I will transfer to you my photos.(URL removed) Excuse me possibly i am not wrong. But I met you at  mall. You not forget the woman in yellow trousers. bye


The source of the mail shows it came from elbe.nexen.net in France.  Looking at websites hosted there, they all seem to be sites that do nothing else but try to scam.

Of course, I didn't reply, but if I COULD speak to the "amazing lady!" I'd say this.

Hello, amazing lady,

It looks like you sent your spam/scam to every "mikein" on the 'net, so I'm sorta thinking it's not all that personal.  First of all, calling me - and all the other Mikes - "plain-lookin man" doesn't seem like that would be the way to win friends.  I'll admit I'm a little plain-lookin, but I'm sure at least a few of the other Mikes are fairly handsome men.  There are probably some that are even more plain than me, bless their hearts.

No, you didn't meet me at the mall.  The one here in town has been closed for over a decade and it's been nearly that long since I went to one in Amarillo, so I don't remember a woman in yellow trousers who promised to transfer her photos.  I'm sure I would remember that, dontcha think?

Amazing lady?  Nah, I don't think so.  I'm sure you're some scammin' Frenchie S.O.B.  Even if you ARE a woman, there's no way you're amazing.  Please don't flatter yourself.

Won't Let You Down - OK Go

#1 AND #2 On The Charts!

"It's catchy Mr. Clark, and I could dance to it. I'll give it an 85!"

Public service reminder brought to you by the folks at King County, Washington.

October 25, 2014

Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream

At the Royal Albert Hall 2005

R.I.P. Jack Bruce


cygnet\ SIG-nit \ noun

1. a young swan

I knew this word, even before I started dreaming about winning the lottery. I recently found a nice live water "ranch" that I'd like to buy if I ever did hit the lottery, Swann Ranch near Winnsboro in N. Texas. (It's "only" $2.9 million) If I'm ever lucky enough to be able to buy a place with a small lake or pond, I'd want to buy some ducks and a few geese and since the entrance gates have black swans fabricated out of metal on them, I'd want to get swans to match. Hey, I'd be rich, so....

I'd have to be rich, not only to buy the multi-million dollar ranch and homes, but to buy a breeding pair of Australian Black Swans - $2,250 for the pair.

October 24, 2014

The Bandrum: A New Folk Instrument


exiguous \ ig-ZIG-yoo-uhs, ik-SIG- \ adjective

1. scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income .

Exiguous could certainly describe the number of visitors to this pathetic excuse for a blog as well as the sum of its quality content. It could apply to many things in my life, esp. the example of income, my hair, my intellect, my talents, my accomplishments and my ambition. It couldn't be used to define my large volume of character faults, though.

October 23, 2014

A Lot of Naked People

It's estimated that 80% of the images on the 'net are porn.

I personally estimate that most of the rest are of cats.

October 22, 2014


pavonine \ PAV-uh-nahyn, -nin \ adjective

1. of or like a peacock.
2. resembling the feathers of a peacock, as in coloring.

Nice descriptive word, but something I think you'd only find in flowery prose: "The young lovers watched the golden orb of the sun sink below the far away darkening horizon, framed by the pavonine rainbow."

October 21, 2014

Giveaway of the Day

I love this site and have subscribed to it in my reader for several years.  Not all the daily offerings are something I'd use or want to try, but I have gotten some good free software from there.

I would caution anyone from going strictly by the ratings;  the site has had quite a few media converters and people really get their panties in a wad over that.  Instead, read the reviews because those are generally from the more knowledgeable users and there's usually several people who post free and sometimes better alternatives.

They also have a widget you can embed in your blog or website:

The software is only available for one day, though.  I wanted to try this program and made a mental reminder to download it later but fell asleep and when I woke up I hurried to the site and saw this message:

There's also a "sister" site, Game Giveaway of the Day but it's now limited to free games only on the weekends.

Giveaway of the Day

Shoot, Yeah!

The National Anthem...

An ode to the 2nd Amendment.

October 20, 2014


hallux \ HAL-uhks \ noun

1. the first or innermost digit of the foot of humans and other primates or of the hind foot of other mammals; great toe; big toe.

2. the comparable, usually backward-directed digit in birds

Hallux sounds more like something I'd say after I stubbed my big toe than what I'd call it.

October 18, 2014

Stealing The Tramp

Charlie Chaplin's corpse was once stolen. Just three months after his death, his body was stolen from the cemetery in Switzerland on Christmas day in 1977 by two unemployed immigrants who thought they could get money in exchange for his body. The plot failed and the grave robbers were arrested and Chaplin's body recovered. To keep this from happening again, Chaplin was buried under 6 feet of concrete the second time around.

October 17, 2014


conk \ kongk, kawngk \ verb

1. to go to sleep (usually followed by off or out )
2. to break or fail, as a machine or engine (often followed by out ): The engine conked out halfway there .
3. to slow down or stop; lose energy (often followed by out ).
4. to lose consciousness; faint (usually followed by out ).
5. to die (usually followed by out ).

I was just about to conk out just a few minutes ago when I heard a loud noise across the street.  I got up, looked out and saw some bright lights on the sidewalk, like Christmas tree lights and a man crouched down watching them.   They are really some weird people.  (and I say that bravely since I know they don't read this blog.) Some of their kinfolk moved in several years back and started mowing their front lawn around one in the morning - they had their cars with head parked out in the middle of the street, the headlights on and pointing towards the yard. (one of the very few times in my life I've ever called the cops on neighbors.  Again, they don't read this blog)  I don't mind weird people since I are one, but sure I don't like loud ones.  I'm a quiet weirdo.

Not sure where the loud noise came from, but last weekend I heard gunshots from down the street, several in a row as if someone had emptied the magazine. I called the cops after five minutes, but mine had been the only complaint.

Just another typical night in the neighborhood.

Life Span of the Common Housefy

The the normal life expectancy of the common housefly is about 17 days. (in the wild, although flies in captivity have been kept alive for up to a month)

I don't know about you, but that's about 16 days too long.

fly photo fly_zps456789b1.gif

October 15, 2014


mythomane [mith-uh-meyn]

1. a person with a strong or irresistible propensity for fantasizing, lying, or exaggerating.

2. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a mythomane.

That pretty much describes we Texans, at least about the exaggerating part.

How 'Bout Them Websites?

After a revamp of the Dallas Cowboys website, I found that some of my bookmarked deep links were broken.  No big problem, I just found the particular pages again and added them to my favorites.  I had some problems with the videos not playing, but somehow that problem corrected itself.

I have issues with websites changing things just for change's sake and especially when the new design isn't better and most especially when it's worse.  The Cowboys used to win awards for best design, but not in a long time.  Now the site is too "busy" looking and chock-full of ads* - particularly annoying are the ones that play before each video. 

*Yeah, like Jerry Jones REALLY needs the money.  The site has always been ranked at or near the top of all NFL sites in traffic and according to one site, is worth $13,140,000.  One of the talk show hosts mentioned that there were at least 20,000 people on the site Monday morning during the show. ("at least", because he said the meter was pegged at the max of 20k)

I have an ad blocking extension on my Firefox browser as well as one that disconnects from third-party modules and ads, but the videos wouldn't play with the ads at the first of the videos blocked.  No problem, I disabled my extensions, but I'd still get a nag screen saying "We noticed you have adblocker software installed, for best results please disable them...." blah blah blah.  The best thing about the new design of the site is now the videos will play with my extensions enabled.  I'm sure they'll "fix" that before long.

New Sport: Doggy Leaf Ball

October 14, 2014

Lazy Hamster

If I was a hamster, this is how I'd do it.

October 13, 2014

A Buggy Day

Earlier this morning I was trying to finish up a documentary I had started last night;  it was a YouTube video I had saved and uploaded to my tablet.  For some reason, the video would quit playing after ten or so minutes and I'd have to reset the table and start the video again.  Not sure what's causing it, probably due to the fact that I've disabled several apps that warned me before I terminated them that it might cause problems.

What, me listen to a machine?  My folks, teachers, coaches, various girlfriends and one ex-wife will attest that I'm not too good at listening to humans.

Anyway...I stepped outside on the porch earlier this morning to feed my clowder of cats and one of the wild kittens got close enough for me to grab it and see what its sex was.  It was a female cat - seems like every one of them is female and I put it down.  I came back inside and felt something on my arm, a flea!  I pinched it between my fingers and it hopped away, unfazed by my attempt at crushing it to death.  With my luck, it was a pregnant female and it wound up on my bed where it will have 10,000 offspring and I'll have all the blood sucked out of me later tonight.

I needed some things, so I made a quick trip to the nearby dollar store.  I wasn't but a couple of blocks from the house when I heard a buzzing.  "Oh no." I thought.  "It sounds like I've blown a speaker."  I turned down the volume on my radio, but the buzzing persisted.  "Oh no." I then thought. "It might be my alternator going out." but the dashboard gauge didn't show anything out of the norm.  Then something small and black and yellow flew right in front of my face, a wasp!  I almost crashed, taking both hands off the wheel and waving away the stinging insect.  Stopping at the church parking lot down the street, I  jumped out, leaving the door open.  I went around to the other side and opened that door and the fierce wind that's been blowing all day swept away Lord knows what-all, prob. bank deposit slips, credit card receipts, etc.  If my identity gets stolen and bank account drained sometime over the next few days, I'll know where it started.  I didn't see the wasp, so I figured it had been blown out the door with the papers.  Good.

I got my stuff at the store, then headed home.  I was just about to turn down my street when the damn wasp landed on my arm.  This time the panic was even worse and I pulled over and jumped out.  I saw it on the seat and grabbed an old golf towel I keep in my truck and swatted the wasp with it.  Nope, didn't kill it, but I think it got angry.  It flew around the cab for a minute, refusing to fly out, then landed on the rear window.  I wrapped the small towel around my fingers and tried to crush it but I didn't and it fell into my reusable grocery bag. (I must really be getting weak in my old age, not being able to smash two small insects.  In my defense, I was probably still tired from trying to crush the flea, not to mention the two adrenaline overloads I had recently experienced.)  I took the sack outside, turned it upside down and shook the wasp out.  I fully expected it to attack me, but it flew off where it was swept up in the breeze.  I expect it's already in Dallas, what with how windy it was today.

Got home, thankful I wasn't stung, made a cup of tea and sat down at my computer.  I was just taking a sip of tea when I saw something move along the bottom of my monitor.  Narrowing my eyes (I had taken off my glasses), I leaned in to see what it was- I thought my monitor might be going out.  Leaning in, I saw it was a big grasshopper...and about that time it launched itself at me, landing squarely between my eyebrows on the bridge of my nose.  My tea went flying, I knocked the mouse off the desk and overturned my chair, all the while flailing my arms.

I'm not afraid of grasshoppers, not even as much as I am a flea and especially not as much as a wasp, but I hate the feeling of them on me;  they have some sort of claws on their legs (which is probably how it got in, latching onto my pants when I got out of my vehicle earlier) but the worst thing is when they spit that "tobacco juice" on you, that horrible, nasty excretion they exude from their horrible looking, ugly mouths.  

I've had enough bugs for the day, both electronic and insect.


accidence [ak-si-duh ns] noun

1. the rudiments or essentials of a subject
2. Grammar
  a. the study of inflection as a grammatical device
  b. the inflections so studied

It was an accident that I gained any accidence in school.

October 12, 2014

Mrs. Brown - Herman's Hermits

Full title: Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter
(wouldn't fit on the title line, sorry.

October 11, 2014


yaff [yaf] verb (used without object), Scot. and North England

1. to bark; yelp.

I've heard Scottish Terriers and English Bulldogs bark and they don't sound like that...then again, maybe they picked up a Texas accent from living here.

Doggy Disco Dancing

October 10, 2014


frisson noun, plural frissons [free-sohnz; French free-sawn]

1. a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill

About the only thrill I get these days is when I lean back in my chair and almost fall over backwards.

Faulty Memory

Einstein could never remember his phone number.

“Why should I bother,” he said, “when I can look it up?”

October 8, 2014

You're Only Lonely - J.D. Souther

A "bump" from 10/2008

I wish they had a better version; there was one of Souther singing this in concert, but embedding was disabled.

One of my favorite songs of all time. It's very moving.


I was listening to online classic rock radio last night and heard a song by a group called Buckingham Nicks; the station showed the album cover the song was from and it was unmistakably Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, but I didn't remember the group. So, I read a little about them and since a friend of mine and I were discussing music the other day in another post and she mentioned Nicks, I did some more reading about her and Buckingham's breakup while with Fleetwood Mac. I've always liked her, thought her talented and beautiful, but I did not know the fairly extensive list of rock stars she dated after splitting with Buckingham.

One of the men she dated was Souther and I got to thinking about this song and came in to see if I had posted it before and saw I had. (six years ago, so no wonder I didn't remember- I have trouble these days remembering the last time I ate.) The YouTube account that had posted it had been suspended and the song deleted, so I found this version and decided to "bump" the old post.

I also went on to read more about Souther and this song and was amazed at the list of people who contributed to it .


foremost [fawr-mohst, -muh st, fohr-]

adjective, adverb
1. first in place, order, rank, etc.

Not a new word to me but I always thought it odd that the phrase "first and foremost" is often used.  It just seems redundant...and I'm not the only one who thinks so: Common Redundancies (F-O). No, I'm not the only one. (see what I did there? did ya?)

I do know this blog isn't foremost in any category, not even for Cast Away Crossroads.

(but, like Avis, we're #2!.  Some people think this blog is #2 -ahem-)

Dear Kitten: Regarding The Dog

Great advert.

October 7, 2014


azoth [az-oth] noun

1. Mercury, regarded by alchemists as the assumed first principle of all metals.
2. the universal remedy of Paracelsus.

Besides often learning a word, I sometimes learn about people, such as Paracelsus.

My dad used to bring me the Mercury when he'd change out a Mercury switch in one of his meter runs, such as is pictured on this page. (Mercury or "tilt" switches were also used in the lids of washing machines to stop the machine when the cover was lifted.) He showed me how it would polish up coins where they'd shine like they were new and it was fun to put it on a plate and watch it separate and then pool back together. Of course, we now know it's toxic and dangerous to handle and can cause all sorts of health problems. I seriously doubt my skin absorbed much of it, though.

I now wish I had saved it all in a bottle instead of playing with and then spilling it. The price is fairly low right now due to large stockpiles, but it used to fairly expensive, depending upon what type it was. (I'd give a price, but a quick search only turned up several year old prices and most metals trading websites require a subscription)

October 6, 2014

A Lot of Rain, No Singin'

I think most classic movie lovers have seen the iconic scene from Singin' in the Rain but until now, only the people involved with the making of the film had seen it before the music was added. 

If I had seen this in real life, I'd be calling for the white-coated men to bring a straitjacket.

October 5, 2014

Big Mouth

A hippo has the largest mouth of all land animals.

October 4, 2014


boobook [boo-boo k, -book] noun

1. a small, reddish-brown spotted owl, Ninox boobook, native to Australia and New Zealand.

An owl? I could have thought a boobook was a Stephen King novel.

October 3, 2014

Tusk - Fleetwood Mac

Hadn't heard this song in a long time, but it was part of the soundtrack to the pilot episode of The Americans I just watched.  I even had to look it up to see who had done it. (brain fart, the only thing I can attribute it to...then again, it was very early in the a.m.)

October 2, 2014

The Texas Revolution

Today in 1835, the Texas Revolution began with the Battle of Gonzales.

It's about time for another revolution.