Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making a Zombie: Is It Plausible?

Come on, haven't you ever wondered if it's scientifically feasible?

In some magic-based practices, the process of making a zombie is taken as fact. With the right mix of ingredients, a person can ingest the concoction and go into a kind of stasis (think SciFi long-distance space travel). The body’s systems would shut down to almost a halt, maintaining just enough to keep and element of life present (yeah, like a glowing pilot light on a gas heater). There is no doubt this is possible. Every time we undergo anesthesia for a surgery, we are quieting down conscious brain function, but maintaining autonomic function so our hearts still beat and we still breathe. With anesthesia comes a dulling of pain senses and the creation of amnesia when it is over. Of course, this wouldn't make for a real zombie, just a dead-looking person. The zombie would supposedly occur when you reanimate the person. In the case of anesthesia or even primitive mixes of powders, it wouldn't make a zombie, it would make an awake person after deep sleep.

These logistics aside, the problem with creating a zombie is the basic knowledge that when you shut down body functions to the degree that breathing is not detectable, then not enough blood is reaching the brain. Even if you reanimate a person by say CPR means, if the person has been without oxygen for enough a period of time, the brain functions will not reengage. You will have anoxic brain injury and a vegetative state.

Saying you reanimate a person’s body, in order for them to be a walking eating threat, they would have to have some of the brain functions in order to still move about. The concept of a zombie being directed by its master to do tasks is absolutely impossible. It would be like telling a person in coma to sit up on the edge of the bed. So, in the case of this type of “zombie” they would not be able to perform the functions of wandering the streets. They would also be mortal and able to be killed.

So, let’s conceive of some situations in which a zombie-type creature could be created. It would take a few elements. There would need to be severe retardation of brain function to the point that the person is perhaps at the mental level of a 2-year-old and therefore understanding of commands, but not understanding of whether these commands are fair or unfair, right or wrong. In order to get this unfortunate person to eat flesh, it would take a condition of pica. Pica is a condition in which a person craves things to eat that are not eatable, such as clay, metal, soil, and the like. Along with perhaps an ongoing iron-deficiency anemia, this lame-minded host could potentially be talked into cannibalism. In this case, at best, you’d get a docile child-like person who could be talked into eating flesh but would not have the natural tendencies to go out and seek flesh to eat. They would also be mortal and easily killed.

Other considerations: There is a disease called Kuru. It attacks the brain in a sort of mad cow disease type of way. It was found in New Guinea to be caused by cannibalism and the eating of the brains of those infected. This disease kills usually within 12 months and is also called the “shaking” disease or the “laughing” disease because it causes uncontrollable shaking and outbursts of laughter. That would make for a much different zombie, as this one would walk and talk, but also shake and laugh uncontrollably. Probably not that threatening. They would also be mortal and able to be killed, but would die on their own within several months in an agonizing manner.

The true zombies of pop folklore are an interesting concept, but the reanimation of flesh would also include an anoxic body that would not be able to have a brain function to move about, think, desire to eat, or any other features we’ve come to know.

Just because zombies can’t physiologically exist in the manner shown in movies presently, there are other aspects of medicine upcoming in the field right now that could change the present impossibility. Doctors are working on a kind of patient stasis that would keep their body functions on the lowest level of existence until they can come up with cures for what ails them. This is different than “putting a head on ice” cryogenics. Still, these two forms of putting people in stasis and then reanimating them could very well create conditions we aren’t aware of. Certain parts of the brain could feasibly be revived while others die off creating an imbalance in behaviors and tendencies. This might be like a football head injury can make someone suddenly very angry when they were kind before. Still, this would be a mortal condition and able to be destroyed.

Ultimately, the only true flesh-eating, killing, ruthless, nearly indestructible zombie you could ever invent would involve some very savvy Japanese engineers. It would have to be robotic. This could be programmed in many ways and the thought is actually a bit more chilling than flesh and blood, shoot `em in the head zombies.

Whether zombies exist in the future or not, the concept of a person dead but walking, alive but soulless is one that continues to fascinate and repel.

Western Spirituality: A Joke?

"I'm so fucking present, I'm like ahead of my time."
"One hand clapping, fuck that, yo!"
"It's so dope when I focus on my breath."
"I'm the sickest Buddha and I'm kickin' Buddha butt!"
"All these mother fuckers trying to hate on all my serenity!"

I am ridiculously proud to be an American. I felt that way every Christmas when my father would make us celebrate his home country's Christmas and eat Norwegian Smorgasbord. Thank you for coming to American, Thorvaldsen family! I'll take In and Out over pickled herring and lutefisk (don't ask) any day!

That being said, a huge country with lots of resources isolated from the countries of origins is kind of like a teenager moved out of mom and dad's home. He at first enjoys the freedoms and doesn't consider having furniture or decorating or even saving for retirement. Hell, he wants to par-tay! Eventually, the establishment of a government and elected officials, currency, and industry makes the now free child become a bit more adult-like and responsible, like having a child and being married.

But somewhere in America's adolescence, we like to go home to the mother country, bring back vintage heirlooms and then proceed to paint them red to match our crib.

So it is with our spiritual practices: We customize a spiritual practice to suit our lives instead of customizing our lives to suit a spiritual practice.

We take a concept like Buddhism, Kabbalah, paganism or Taoist practices and modify them into something new and fresh. It might work for mom's old antique dresser, but it doesn't necessarily fly with spiritualist practices.

Yoga really wasn't intended to be something one goes and does for an hour after work in a window-lined gym with the heat turned up to make you sweat, so you think you're living the trials of some ancient practitioner.

It intrigues me how Kaballah bracelets became the "in" thing with the Hollywood crowd as if wearing one might magically empower you, even if you don't practice the mysticism behind it.

Meditation is one of my favorite chuckles. I know people who practice meditation when they are under stress and then put it away when they are distracted by life. They do a 5-minute meditation and feel that just hit their reset button and now they can get on with their day.

Not to just knock just the new-agers, but Catholics and other religions like Judaism know the same issue; the ones who join in when they have a baby or get married and then go missing the rest of the time. Yet they still call themselves Catholics and Jews.

So, is spiritual practice a noun or a verb? Does one need to practice regularly, even in good times, to prove a commitment as well as to keep up a skill set? Ideally, yes.

Spirituality is an ongoing process in which one walks the talk and lives it daily. It's through that sacrifice and discipline one matures. It's like life: We lose a job and learn how to budget, how to jettison the unnecessaries, how to work hard to find a new job, how to network. Then, we get a new skill set that makes us better able to survive, we mature rapidly. This is what a good spiritual practice does; each day we take the time and attention and put into it, we find an inner core in ourselves, an overriding message that "I can count on me, I will always come through, I will always be able to handle whatever comes, I am not afraid of commitment or focus."

So, next time you decide to try on a spiritual practice, remember it is seated in a deep history and that history needs to be studied in the context with which the practice was born. It would be like asking someone to be Christian and not study Christ's life. It would make no sense to them. Learn it, be patient with it, commit to it, live it, breathe it, relate it to everything you do from relationships with others to your relationship with yourself.

Spirituality is ultimately the means by which you view your relationship with yourself, others and the universe.

I am reminded of Karate Kid. He didn't just learn to fight. He learned how to live. It was never about the fight, but it was about how he related to himself through daily sacrifice, practice, hard work and focus for any goal.

**At 3 pm EST expect to see a post about whether zombies are feasible. Be ready tomorrow for another Candlelight Tale told by me, a Nightvision bikini shot (hey, it's informative), and Lonely on a Friday Night.**

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Surviving a Zombie Attack

Perhaps the best part of zombie movies is the part where the audience screams “Dummy! Don’t do that!” and when they talk amongst themselves about what they would do in that scenario.

When I was a kid and first saw “Night of the Living Dead,” I wasn’t impressed with a farmhouse, but I did think a condo high rise in the city might not be too bad. I'd get some folks I trust, we'd take furnishings from the second floor and fill up the lobby, totally clutter it with shit and then nail shut the doors just in case, so we could have the other 20 or so floors to ourselves and all the supplies in them.

Everyone considers what they’d do. I went online to find that there’s actually a huge group of people hypothesizing how to handle the zombie apocalypse.

In the book “Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress” by Canadian mathematicians Jean Michel Tchuenche and C. Chiyaka they presented the scenario of a zombie attack and used mathematics to determine that the best way to deal it is to “hit hard and hit often.”

“An outbreak of zombies is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead,” the authors wrote. “It is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.”

On this site they suggest these 10 tips:

1. Clear the Room: There's nothing worse than stepping into a room only to be set upon by a horde of brain-hungry zombies. A team of four armed shooters can easily clear a room if they all stand against the nearest wall: one body in each corner and two in the middle. This position proves optimal for quickly dispatching of a room full of the reanimated.

2. Never Turn Your Back on the Enemy: Shambling isn't just for zombies. Three live humans can stand with their backs together and carefully rotate through the room, ensuring that all eyes are facing outward and no one falls victim to a surprise attack.

3. The Fine Line: For those lucky enough to amass a relatively large army of live humans, the Fine Line is the best way to fend off roving zombie hordes. Simply form two lines of armed persons, one line in front of the other. Have the front line shoot while the back line holds. When the front line runs out of ammo, the back line steps in while the front line reloads. Tragically, the Squad's training zombie, Billy the Hunter, died while the Squad demonstrated this technique.

4. Zombies Are the Least of Your Worries: It's bad enough that you have to deal with the zombified masses, who are tireless, feel no pain, and greatly outnumber healthy human beings. But perhaps even more deadly are the humans who simply can't cope with the new world order. It's best if you keep a psychologist on hand who can identify and subdue such persons before they embark on a murderous rampage that makes the zombies look as ferocious as fluffy kittens.

5. Choose Your Weapons Wisely: Not all weapons work for all people, and the trendiest zombie-fighting armaments aren't always the best. When in doubt, melee weapons are a fine tool against the undead, but think twice before picking up that giant hammer. As satisfying as squishing zombie skull may be, swinging the hammer creates a sizable arc that gives zombies plenty of time to nibble at your armpits. GLAZS advises that you invest in a machete, which is cheap, lightweight, and neatly separates a zombie's head from its bodies. As for ranged weapons, you may want to reconsider that sawed-off shotgun you're so fond of. Bolt action rifles are both powerful and accurate, without the ammunition restrictions of the close-range shotgun.

6. Windows Are Not Your Friend: Zombies have a nasty habit of crashing through glass windows, so it's best to choose a hideout with as few ground level windows as possible. Steer clear of malls, coffee shops, and boutique outlets in favor of Costco, BJs, Sam's Club, or any other large warehouse. If you find yourself trapped in your house, it's best to hightail it up to the attic, which the uncoordinated zombies will have trouble reaching. Basements, even windowless ones, spell trouble.

7. No Brains for Oil: If you're traveling with a group, you may consider fleeing by minivan or SUV, but be warned that the gas mileage and rollover rates might be a literal killer. If you're traveling alone, it's best to take a high miles per gallon vehicle, like a dirt bike, or, better yet, grab a bicycle and escape the zombies under your own replenishable power.

8. Fight World War Z with TNT: Using dynamite around the undead is a tricky proposition; the right amount of explosives can blow them to bits, but you might get cremated yourself. It's better to stave off those desiccated corpse with a controlled burn. But, GLASZ's demolitions expert warns, make sure it's a fire you can contain. A raging wildfire could prove far more deadly than the zombies themselves.

9. Animals: Friend or Foe? Animals can be invaluable allies at the end of the world, but the zombie infection could render them more hazard than help. If the zombie plague is viral, it can infect any living cells, causing even the most inhuman animals to exhibit flesh-craving symptoms. GLASZ members ask: Would you rather fight off a zombie human — or a zombie lion?

10. Suit Up: Perhaps the best way to prepare for the day the dead rise from their graves is to assemble the perfect zombie-fighting attire. Avoid brain spray-back by wearing goggles and covering your face with a non-porous material. Use plate mail or leather to create a bite-proof body suit. Kevlar gloves (provided to some food industry workers) can be worn as is or refashioned into impenetrable sleeves, allowing you to fend off zombie bites by holding up your forearms. Riot shields also add an extra layer of protection and make the zombie head squishing that much easier.

Admittedly, it’s good to be prepared. Zombies might not happen, but to think about such scenarios is to be ready for anything, to think in steps, to be prepared to live instead of resigned to die. I enjoy such mind puzzles just to keep myself alert and to have a stimulating conversation.

Let's start a conversation: What would your plan be?

"Fringe-ology" Book Review--Must Read!

I was contacted by the publishers of a book being released called "Fringe-Ology (How I tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable And Couldn't)" by Steve Volk. I usually end up having to turn down book reviews. Not that I don't like books, mind you, but I'm in the process of writing two now and have two more on the back burner, a full-time job, ghost hunting, and several blogs. Still, when I heard the synopsis of this book, I was eager to get a copy and check it out. I am so glad I listened to my instincts!

Basically, a reporter has some unanswered questions about the world of the unexplained, psychic skills, ghosts, consciousness outside the brain, near-death experiences, and more. So, he sets out to try and prove that the unexplained does not exist. The problem along the way is that, well, he couldn't!

Anyone who's read my own book "Was That a Ghost?" that helps people know if they encountered the paranormal, will know why I love this book so much. This is a man with a logical mind, like my own, questioning the big unknown and finding haunting answers. We are very much alike and I suspect that my blog would be a place this talented and insightful man would feel right at home with my "think tank" of readers.

I found his journey much like my own. The more questions he asked, the more questions it created. This journey for finite answers was met with amazing results; infinite answers. Paths led back in a circular way that showed that the world of the unexplained is actually a loop and that is why there is no beginning point or ending point from which to jump on board. There is only the journey.

Enjoy this journey. I rarely support a book this much (other than my own), but I am actually going to put a button up on this blog for purchasing it. If you like my blog, you like my attitude about the unexplained and you want to read more on the subject, this is where I'm directing you. I excitedly await your reviews.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Netflix Instant Watch: Zombie-Theme

Some zombie flicks on Netflix Instant Watch if you find yourself in the mood...

"Zombies, Zombies, Zombies" Come on, pimps, prostitutes, zombies. How can you go wrong?

"Aaah! Zombies!" This is a story told from the zombies' point of view. It's listed as "quirky."

"Redneck Zombies" Campy and Raunchy

"Zombieland" is a favorite of most zombie lovers, witty and scary.

"Valley of the Zombies" gets a pretty good rating including a creepy estate and cemetery and is listed as witty and scary.

Conspiracy Theory Tuesday: Electronic Poverty?

The Theory of Electronic Conspiracy is said to be a variant of modern New World Order conspiracy theories. The theory consists of the belief that a secret group has attempted for centuries to reach worldwide dominion, even if the result by design would be world destruction. According to this theory, the worldwide dominion has been planned from antiquity and follows the following phases:

1. The substitution of precious metal-based coin currency by paper currency. This process began in the Renaissance, with the beginning of the use of tickets which allowed for people to have a tangible good (such as silver or gold pieces) by paper—a more virtual, but comfortable, medium which the state was committed to provide the equivalent amount of precious metal if such was required.
2. The appearance of virtual money, with credit cards: money approaches wholly virtual status. Money is no longer a tangible paper- or metal-based object but rather a series of numbers recorded in magnetic stripes.
3. The proliferation of Internet and Electronic commerce: credit cards are no longer required in order to purchase or sell goods and services from an Internet-connected computer.
4. The concentration of the worldwide bank into few hands, by means of continuous international banking fusions.
5. The worldwide implementation of an electronic identity card.
6. The great worldwide blackout. A tremendous disaster will take place when, after a great electrical blackout on a planetary scale, the data of all electronic accounts erase simultaneously. After this event, chaos and poverty will immediately ensue throughout the planet; and civilization will revert to its primitive forms of slavery to survive. This is the last aim of the “secret organization” which has spent centuries guiding this process. The worldwide blackout will be preceded by partial blackouts that would only be tests and “signals” to communicate that different phases of the process are being fulfilled. An example of these partial blackouts would be those that have been produced almost simultaneously in different parts around the world; and, at the beginning of the 21st century, shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks: the blackouts in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

There are some some conspiracy theories that bend your mind, like the "evidence" we didn't land on the moon. After watching for about an hour on video people debunking the moon landing, you actually find it sounds conceivable. Then, there's conspiracy theories that give you chills of premonition because they're already happening and you didn't have to bend your reality to foresee it. This is one of the latter.

Sex and the Single Ghost Hunter: What Do Boys Want?

So, I'm out there in the single world 32 years after I exited it. When I stopped dating, I was still in adolescence. Boys took me to Burger King before we sneaked into a drive-in movie by hiding in someone's trunk so we didn't have to pay. My last official date? The prom. I won't tell you the year, but I vaguely remember that some idiot hired one of the kids from school's band that played super loud very hard rock music and no one could dance.

I'm guessing not much has happened since then. The singles world seems to be swamped with people desperate for sex. It's pretty ironic because when I was married for 26 years, I always thought my single friends had it made, got tons of sex, were exhausted with their social calendars. Not so, apparently.

So, imagine you are single and middle-aged male. Put the top 3 qualities a woman MUST have in the order of most important to lesser.

Girls always have lists of the ideal man, but honestly I was always the girl who just waited for a boy to like her and then was happy someone noticed her. I never asked what I wanted. I didn't dare hope for it. I think my parents set me up for it because they were the single worst gift givers in all the universe and, in fact, forgot my birthday many times. I knew that it was silly to dream, it would never happen. But, now that I'm older and wiser, I thought I'd put my list of qualities in order of importance.

Intelligent (I love nerds)
Funny (He absolutely must be able to laugh at himself and not just others)
Liberal (In spiritual and political views)

When I wrote this, I had to laugh. Basically, liberals are intelligent and funny, not taking themselves as seriously and close-minded as conservatives and not scared of knowledge either. So, I wondered technically if "liberal" should top the list because the rest were "givens" which would allow me to add "taller than 5'8" and "likes horror." I know, I know, I should have sex-a-holic on the list, but I feel confident I could give him the stimuli to become one.

Are you wondering what I feel about looks? I'm like most women. When a man has chemistry with us, he treats us a certain way and he's fun and a pleasure to be with, he becomes the most handsome man we've ever laid eyes upon. Plus, we generally do not trust beautiful flawless men in the least. Character and battle wounds are so much more attractive than baby faces and dimples. One screams "man!" and the other whispers "boy!"

Now that I have a vague sense of my ideal man, I'd appreciate learning your top 3 qualities in order for a female. If I'm lucky, I might have one of those qualities, as my readers are pretty much an example of what I'm looking for, I'll know I'm drawing in the right crowd.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nightvision: The Best Things Happen at Night!

(I just got myself a jiffy little Vivitar pocket video cam with IR and got a still shot of me at the cemetery after dark)

Do you want proof that the best things happen at night?

Vampires come to life
Werewolves bay at the moon
Bats take to the skies in swarms
Mardi Gras participants flash the crowds
Full moon eclipses
Meteor showers dazzle
Stars twinkle and hover
UFOs make shocking displays
Lovers tangle in sheets
Ghost hunters wander unlit buildings
Bonfires send sparks into the black air
Trick-or-Treaters knock and screech
Fireworks smoke the sky
Christmas Lights twinkle blindingly
New Year's Celebrations send music into the air
Prom goers sneak off to after hours hideaways
Nightclub jazz shows beckon people inside
Horror movie plots keep watchers on edge
Halloween parties promise a night of make-believe
Bigfoot hunters listen keenly
Lightning bugs flicker silently
Haunted attractions draw in screaming crowds
Corn mazes isolate the wanderers
Camping sites come to life around a campfire
Sleepover children giggle and chatter
Flashlight tag is played competitively
Poker players settle in with beer and chips
SNL brings viewers laughs and winces
Drive-in movies set a mood to make-out
Strip clubs promise forbidden pleasures
Roadside carnivals play loud music and dizzy the patrons
Outdoor concerts on the lawn create romance
Las Vegas Strip wakes up for the night with neon
Glowsticks mark the partiers in a crowd
Happy hour mellows hard workers
Street bands get people to stop and listen
City lights promise many escapes
Dark country roads isolate the driver
Fire in the hearth of a lonely woodland cabin smells like home

Got more? Share them and prove the point--everything really worth it, happens at night!

Finding Bigfoot Reviewed

Best quote: "That sounds squatchy!"

Seriously, I really needed this Sunday off and knowing that at night, I could turn out the lights, turn up the air-conditioning, hide under a woobie (blanket) and watch "Finding Bigfoot" go some place snowy and cold to search for my furry cousin, I was quite delighted. In fact, if you tried to call me last evening, I did not answer. Nothing gets in the way of me and searches for Bigfoot.

I like the variety of ways they go about things. I appreciate that as an investigator because I don't like to go in and do the same thing over and over again. Each location, each situation is different and you need to adapt. I simply love to see these guys in the woods. I'd love to see an extended one where they maybe do a 2-hour special or a 2-part special of an expedition of hiking and camping. I'd even have them throw in perhaps two more members for an episode like that (I'm not saying one of them should be a sassy redhead, but it'd be ideal and a nice tent warmer for Cliff).

I appreciate the talk with townsfolk and the decisions to pursue the places they describe. They end up with a show that is not stuck with just one BF account, but many ones to pursue. I know editors can seriously butcher a show into something that is biased and convoluted, but in this case of this show, trying to get that many cases narrowed down, they do a fine job of getting the highlights of the stories without seeming like we're being tossed in a dryer machine and tumbled with too much info. And, there's very few shows that I miss something if I come back from a commercial break a little late, but in the case of this show, I do miss a lot if I come back late. That's pretty telling.

The camouflage canoe was so Gilligan's Island and you know I totally loved it! I'm all about trying any and everything. Loved the echoes. Loved the little goose camera. Oh hell, I'm waiting for the episode where they put BoBo in a BF costume with breasts on it, rub some gorilla musk on him and send him out to do some howling and make himself BF prostitute bait. Oh, you know they gotta try it some time, right?

I don't care what they do, I just love to see them creeping around in the dark. I seriously wish they'd use IR that is black/white instead of green, but that's just a personal preference. Please, please, please pick them up for a lot more episodes! Make it a 2-part season like other channels do; six episodes here, six episodes there...

Here's my favorite paranormal shows in order:
1. Destination Truth.
2. Finding Bigfoot. (actually closing in on DT because it's only BF and I'd rather just see BF hunting than a variety of places, but DT gets to go to such badass locales that I kind of enjoy that too)
3. Fact or Faked.
4. Ghost Adventures. (purely for shits and giggles)

I despise Haunted Collector and Zak's Paranormal Challenge and Ghost Academy. I am bored to tears by GHI and GH and quit watching them seasons ago.

I'm still waiting for my own show concept to be used, but until then, I'm glued to this show. I'd like to know what you think. I hope you're hooked on Animal Planet on Sunday nights for this.

"I think there's a squatch in these woods."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We've Got Dry Beaver and We've Got Wet Beaver

I'm talking about the State of Arizona, for crying out loud, people, get your mind out of the gutter!

(Wet Beaver Creek, AZ. And, no, it's not just for the estrogenized youngsters.)

(Dry Beaver Creek, AZ; a sign that always makes people wince, both male and female. And, no, it's not just for the postmenopausal.)

The Wet Beaver creek has bass and catfish and water. Now, you can imagine what the Dry Beaver Creek offers: Sand, sand, and more sand with occasional seasonal rain filling it up.

I get the distinct feeling that when settlers stopped in Arizona, tired of the wagon train experience and thinking things might get worse if they kept going west, they just plopped down in this barren land and decided to poke fun at their new territory. I know I do all the time. It helps one survive the heat, sunshine, dry climate and inhospitable cacti. Well, they started naming things just about the weirdest shit you can imagine. I picture it like this; they leaned back against a wagon wheel, drank a bottle of rotgut and then started kicking out names and painting some signs. Here's just a few town names in AZ:

Why, Arizona
Nothing, Arizona
Ajo (Tohono Odam for "Onion"), Arizona
Hell Hole, Arizona
Hell Holes, Arizona
Canyon Diablo, Arizona
Santa Claus, Arizona
Christmas, Arizona
Bumble Bee, Arizona
Tombstone, Arizona
Show Low, Arizona
Two Guns, Arizona
Arsenic Tubs, Arizona
Total Wreck, Arizona

I want to name a town in Arizona "Hills Have Eyes" and I'd place it in the hills just outside of Fountain Hills as one is traveling towards Payson and the hills are just tons of big boulders and there's nothing but turkey buzzards for signs of life. I guess the official mayor should be, well, "Pluto?"

Adventure Sunday: Meteorite Hunting

A meteorite is a piece of iron, stone, or stony-iron composite that has fallen to Earth from outer space. Most meteorites originated within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, and were once part of a planet or large asteroid. A few meteorites come from the Moon and Mars, and a few others may possibly be fragments of cometary material.

Meteorites are attracted to magnets. Meteorites contain a great deal of extraterrestrial iron, even the ones that look like terrestrial rocks (stony meteorites). Just like a common nail or ball bearing, they will easily stick to a magnet, but they are not magnetic. Test your find with a good hardware store magnet, or a rare earth magnet. Very few are not attracted to magnets.

Meteorites are heavy. Most meteorites are much denser than ordinary Earth rocks. The thing most people say when they hold a meteorite for the first time is, "Wow! It's so heavy!" The unusual weight is due to high iron content.

How and where?

From this site's advice:
# "Strewn Fields" This is the footprint of an impact. Several worldwide strewn fields are shown in the Norton book, some in the U.S. These have been searched by others, but there is undoubtedly material that has not yet been found.
# Deserts--The desert is devoid of ground-covering plant life, and infrequent rain. It is a good region for hunters, as meteorites will not weather and erode as fast, and are right on the surface. Sand dunes are especially good.
# Craters Again, known craters are shown in Norton's book. Be careful here-Meteor Crater in Arizona, once the source of thousands of specimens, is now closed to meteorite hunters. You can be arrested and fined. You should always check if the area is on private property, and get permission before entering. This is especially true overseas.

Use a metal detector or use a strong magnet to test the rock.

Recently fallen meteorites will exhibit fusion crust. This is a thin black rind, sometimes shiny, sometimes matte black, which is acquired during burning in the atmosphere. A freshly fallen stone meteorite will look much like a charcoal briquette.

To learn more about their worth, check here.

I am planning to do some meteorite hunting and some gold panning this year when the weather is better (which for us isn't until late October), but you can expect me to share my finds and adventures, as always and I hope you share yours!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scary Music Videos

I love when they haunt me long after seeing them...

Tool "Sober"

Marilyn Manson "Sweet Dreams"

Here's my questions for you:

Has there ever been a song that you loved until you saw the video and then hated it?

Has there ever been a song you didn't like until you saw the video?

That's the power of music videos, leaving a kind of mental virus that's disturbing or inspiring.

Inspirational Saturday: MacGuyver Your Life!

In Deepak Chopra's Book "Ageless Body: Timeless Mind" he mentioned one of the important qualities to people who lived past 100; adaptability, acceptance of change.

This brings to mind older folks walking around with cell phones, dinking around on Facebook and listening to current music, but adapting to change doesn't necessarily mean being up-to-date on technology. Adaptability to change means that you know life will be filled with changes all the time, roadblocks, detours, and giant brick walls with smooth surfaces that say "Dead End!"

You know those disaster movies of the 70s like "Poseidon Adventure"? You had your folks who feared moving from their spot on the dance floor ceiling and those who realized that to stay there was to be deeper in the water and to climb was to get closer to the surface. Some folks stop in the midst of a change in their plans and either freeze, unable to make a decision, or stubbornly stay with the course they were on, even though the path is no longer navigable.

Adaptable people don't stomp their feet and cry and scream that it's unfair that their plans were interrupted. They neither believe life should be perfect nor go as planned every single time.

I have never known a new reality to not have some amazing payoff. Sometimes, it's simply a perspective on things. When I was a kid one time, my sister drove me out into the countryside and we stopped to look at a cool railroad track. The car wouldn't start. My sister didn't have a fit, didn't wait for a stranger to finally come down the road and climb into their car. Nope. She thought a moment. "Who do I know around here?" I mentioned a sibling's friend who lived nearby, just through the woods.

So, my sister and I went on an adventure across the train tracks to the friend's house to use the phone. On the way, however, we discovered a huge pond. We stopped and sat down for a time and watched some beavers hard at work. We got up and headed further into the woods where she handed me some beautiful fallen colored leaves like they were treasures and I squealed with delight to know I could go press them into wax paper when I got home. We stopped and listened to a woman in her back yard singing as she hung laundry and her crisp beautiful voice seemed to make the autumn leaves shimmer overhead like gentle applause. We remembered our purpose and made it to the friend's house where the mother happily called our parents and sat us down to some newly made warm chocolate cake and hot cocoa. We talked for an hour until our family showed up to help and during that time heard amazing stories of her upbringing in the deep South.

The day provided not a car that refused to work and a trek that was stopped short, but a new path, new experiences, beautiful memories we couldn't have made if the car hadn't broken down forcing us to walk through the woods and find leaves, a beaver pond and a woman singing and a warm cake and hot cocoa and stories. Had we just driven home, that would have been the end of the adventure. Sometimes, adventures are born from how you handle glitches in your plans.

Serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

Adventure: An exciting or very unusual experience.

Adaptable: Able to adjust oneself readily to different conditions.

People ask me a lot why I'm such a positive person with so many miserable events in my life, but the truth is, I didn't enter the human race to make a planned out trek with great rigidity. The world was here long before I came along and long after I'm gone. It didn't suddenly come into being when I was born and conform to my expectations of what it should give me. I came to adapt and learn, observe and grow, become resourceful and always know that whatever happens, I just skip around it, leap over it, or plant a happy bunch of daisies atop it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lonely on a Friday Night?

Hey, ya'll. I'm in this evening. If you want to jump on and chat, please do so.

When They Prove Ghosts: What Next?

**Be sure you saw my earlier post today, a video, the first in my series of "candlelight tales" every Friday**

Suppose you’re watching TV when you get home from work, flipping through the channels and see a “Special Report” message. You stop and wait to see if it’s some disaster or shooting somewhere. No, this ends up being introduced not by a local, but a national reporter. The tone is serious. The message is stupifying, it must be a prank!

“A press conference is about to begin. Scientists from Yale University are going to discuss a finding that, well,” his voice deepens, “this is hard to say, but reportedly proof of the afterlife has been discovered and these top scientists in their field will be making an official announcement.” The reporter turns to the other reporter at the desk. “Did you ever think this day would come?”

The other reporter clears his throat. “I-I can’t imagine what can constitute proof of afterlife, but apparently we’re about to hear. They’re ready to speak.”

The screen then switches off to a room with a panel of men and women at a table, one standing at the lectern, leaning into a cluster of microphones, his eyes rather stricken, his body tense, his hands trembling slightly as he shifts his papers and waits for the reporters to quiet down.

At this point, I leave you to your imagination. As a hunter of the paranormal, I can’t imagine what “proof” would be irrefutable, as even an answering spirit could be interpreted as a hoax. Still, the day might very well come where the lines between our world and the next level of existence will be probed by science and perhaps, if we’re lucky, it will probe back and contact will be made.

We spend a lot of time talking about finding proof of the other side, but like the question of who we’ll clone when we clone people overrides the question of whether we should clone people, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. Do we really want to clone the DNA of those who had their time on earth and do we really know what it will mean if we chase ghosts and we finally catch them?

Every aspect of our lives would change should we prove the afterlife.

That might sound like a silly statement. After all, those with faith believe in the afterlife already. Yes, they have belief, but with proof comes a conflict. What if the afterlife proves to be unconditional of what we practiced religiously on earth or perhaps even if we believed at all? Should you no longer be obliged to have a faith or practice a faith, what becomes of churches? Religious wars?

Some might say that without faith and the guidelines of one’s religious doctrines, the world would go mad with chaos and evil. Not true! I know a huge group of atheists, some of the kindness and most considerate and “Christian-like” people I’ve ever known. Their morals are deeply seated and cannot be bribed by heaven or greed. The roads would not fill with mayhem and looting, but the way we handle our lives might change dramatically.

Supposing there was no lingering doubt that you could be part of an eternal world without pain and hunger? Would a large group of sickly and elderly opt out of physical life? Would communication with the dead make it so families no longer grieved their dead? Instead, they simply wired themselves into the system and caught them up on their lives? Would the dead then become "slaves" to our need to continue to "keep them alive" by contacting them constantly? Would they have any "rest" in the afterlife?

These questions are the basis of a Sci-Fi novel I started many years ago and keep meaning to finish finally. I’m thinking of picking it back up and finishing it off finally, but I’d really like to pick your brilliant minds (I really do have the smartest followers in the blog world) to find out what you think the ramifications would be?

***Don't forget, from 7 pm onward this evening is a Lonely on a Friday Night on here. Jump on and comment. I'll be your hostess.***

Candlelight Tales: The Weird Neighbors

This is a new series of candlelight tales done on video where I tell y'all by candlelight and some wine, a spooky story from my life.

**Don't miss this afternoon's post about what would happen if ghosts were proven. Also, don't forget, tonight is Lonely on a Friday Night, come on and comment!**

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Focused Intent: Is It In Our Genes? In Bigfoot's?

You're sitting in a waiting room, reading a magazine when without noise or prompting, you look up at the chair just to the right of you and the person is staring at you. Did you see them in your peripheral vision? Nope. Did they make a noise? Nope. Somehow, you knew someone was focusing his intent upon you.

You're in a haunted location and you're wandering from room to room when you enter a parlor and stop and turn and gaze into the corner. You feel as if you're being watched. You can feel the intent upon you as if it were a psychic touch to your subconscious, something stroking your "warning" button ever so gently.

You are coming home from work and find yourself pulling into the parking lot at the Chinese restaurant. You don't recall having a forethought to get supper and bring it home, but you simply felt compelled to do it as if something almost OCD catastrophic would happen if you didn't complete the action. You bring home supper only to find your spouse laughing about how he was thinking of Chinese food all day. Are you a mind reader?

I was on a ghost hunt. We were all catching some rest at the end of the hunt and laid down to get in a few hours sleep. Suddenly, I lifted my head and looked over my shoulder at the fellow hunter behind me. I felt a nighttime pat in my mind, not in my body, but I knew that he was saying good night silently. The next day, he reported he was about to pat me on the back good night, but then thought better of doing that and startling me, but when I raised my head in recognition, it kind of startled him that I seemed to know his intention.

All the time, we think about someone all day long and then get a call from them that night or an email. We don't know why we thought about them all day, we hadn't thought about them in months, but then here they show up just when we're thinking about them. It's not that our thinking of them is causing them to call or contact us, it is that we are reading their intention. When someone is focused upon us, they are suddenly in our mind.

The mind has a forward motion of intention. I have been fascinated with this as a psychic and a human being. We get up in the morning to start our routine day, but already are imaging what we're wearing to work, whether the traffic on the onramp is clogged up again, what will be waiting at our desk for us, the things we need to get done when we get home tonight, the appointment with the doctor next week, the vacation at the end of the month... We are already way ahead of ourselves.

Physicists believe it's entirely possible that every time we make a decision we split off into all the directions we could have taken with infinite outcomes in "multiverses."

From what I know of the phenomena, we can sense intention as if it an arm reached out and touched us, even though the person never physically did. It's as if just thinking about someone, you arrive in their senses and subconscious. The action may not have been physically completed, but mentally it moved forward on a psychic level. I feel it might be the same upon death, that all that forward motion and intention for tomorrow and next week continues to roll forward even when we are no longer physically in this space.

It seems to work with creatures, as well. You know how dogs "smell fear?" Horses refuse to cooperate for ignorant riders? Deer realizing someone is focusing attention on them run from the hiding hunter? I've done it many times focusing on the tons of bunnies we have here in my apartment complex. I simply study one and his head lifts and he runs off immediately. I've tried staring at them with no thoughts in my mind, but the minute I start looking at the bunny as a bunny, he reacts and hops off.

So, what does this tell us about the Bigfoot hunting dilemma? I recently wrote about Bigfoot and Native Americans and the possibility that our attention focused on him is driving him into hiding and that when we go down a forest path thinking about fishing or our day at work tomorrow, we run into him. I do not think this is coincidence. The question is, does BF have an even stronger sense of intent than humans? It is certainly something to consider.

I learned recently that man is intelligent because how long it takes him to get to maturity, i.e. 18 years. For primates, it is 10 years. Does BF reach maturity at perhaps 14 years? More intelligent than chimps, less intelligent than us? But, is that enough for him to have developed his psychic senses more than his analytical side? Perhaps he is a spiritual being like a caveman and uses his animal-like survival senses in a way we humans are removed from. Hell, we launch ourselves in cars at 60 miles per hour over highways and that is about as against our instincts of self protection as possible, but our intellect helps us negate the natural "oh shit!" that should come from such an experience. Perhaps BF's "oh shit!" mechanism is completely intact since he does not talk himself out of what he knows to be true. (Yes, y'all are so patient for putting up with my down to earth comparisons and I shall reward you later in some magnificent way).

I plan to learn more about the process of intent and how humans manage to "feel" this. It would have certainly been important in early development when we were not as strong as tigers and bears, so it is perhaps an actual sense, in there with the "God" sense (sense of being watched, not being alone). Might BF's sense of intent be so acute as to be a near constant low-level paranoia of being studied?

As an experiment, next time you're in a crowded waiting room or restaurant, focus your attention on someone who can see you in his peripheral vision. Focus and see how long it takes for the person to lift his head and look for the source of focused intention.

This is a curiosity I will continue to probe in my ongoing theories.

New Point-Comfort: A Southern Tale of Haunting Part 3 of 3

(Above: Graves in the grass, house in the distance)

Across from the summer home was a cemetery. When we were kids, we'd forget it was there because the grasses would grow up and no one would cut them back. Each summer we'd arrive and rediscover it as if we forgot it even existed. There weren't many headstones, but they were scattered out and if you ran through the grass and didn't know it, you could whack into one and knock the wind right out of you. More than a few times, I would get tackled by one.

In the evening around twilight when it was more dark than light outside and the lightning bugs cradled the pecan trees outside the turret bedroom, I would sit there and brush out my long hair and sit on the bed, studying the direction of the cemetery.

It didn't happen all the time, but upon occasion, a blue ball of light, perhaps the size of a baseball or softball would float around in the graveyard, going up and down, weaving in and out of the grasses, obscured by a headstone, rising back up again and flickering slightly before it fizzled out. These blue balls of light were usually just one, but a couple of times, another ball of light joined it, not dancing with it, but also in the same area, moving up and down, in and out. These lights were unusual. They were soft, but not fuzzy as if the light were contained within the ball shape, yet the moisture in the air seemed to make them seem a bit softer looking and not perfectly sharp edged.

I went racing out a few times to try and intercept the blue light, but it would be gone. I did notice where it was in relation to the plants around it. There were headstones below the grasses, but sometimes the light seemed to dance far away from the house and graveyard before I could no longer see it, so it didn't seem to be particularly seeking a certain spot.

What were these magical lights? I'll never know, but I tend to think that in the swampy area, it could have been some unusual phenomena that is nature-based in origin. It didn't seem to pick a particular grave to hang around.

These sorts of mysteries have plagued me all my life, trying to figure out what factors made it show itself one night and not another, what might have instigated it, if it was based on geology or some other conditions, perhaps even spirit-based. I seek answers to these wonders and I wonder at their answers.

Now, you officially know from last week's stories about Aspen Grove and this week's about my summer home on the Chesapeake, what made me come up with theories and seek knowledge and insight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Beasts of Gevaudan

I love werewolf stories, but the best is always the original...

In the mid 1700s in the province of Gevaudan in France, huge reddish colored, horrible-smelling wolf creatures began attacking and killing the citizens, tearing open their throats and thus started a massive scare amongst the people. Over 200 people died.

This strange pack was described by witnesses as something most unusual from your run of the mill wolves with a female in the pack who did not participate in the attacks and partial eating of human beings. This case not only helped spawn the concept of werewolves but has piqued the interested of cryptozoologists from the accounts made by people who often saw wolves and should know them when they see them. It was speculated the beast was a hybrid of a mastiff and a wolf given its unusual size and color. Some of these beasts were killed and found to be very large and unusual.

The legend of the silver bullet came from the second beast killed (Wikipedia) The killing of the creature that eventually marked the end of the attacks is credited to a local hunter, Jean Chastel, at the Sogne d'Auvers on 19 June 1767. Later novelists (Chevalley, 1936) introduced the idea that Chastel shot it with a blessed silver bullet of his own manufacture. Upon being opened, the animal's stomach was shown to contain human remains. Controversy surrounds Chastel's account of his success. Family tradition claimed that, when part of a large hunting party, he sat down to read the Bible and pray. During one of the prayers the creature came into sight, staring at Chastel, who finished his prayer before shooting the beast. This would have been aberrant behavior for the beast, as it would usually attack on sight. Some believe this is proof Chastel participated with the beast, or even that he had trained it. However, the story of the prayer may simply have been invented out of religious or romantic motives.

What was your favorite werewolf movie? I think for the storyline, I liked "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson, but for the beauty and cinematography, the new remake of "The Wolfman"

New Point-Comfort: A Southern Tale of Haunting Part 2 of 3

The New Point-Comfort Lighthouse. It was a favorite sneaky getaway. Whenever we could hijack someone with a motorboat to ride us, we kids loved this place. The lighthouse was abandoned at the time, just sitting atop a rock island in sad and sorry state, but still a magical retreat!

One time, my brother and I sneaked away to it. We climbed the steep stairs with no railing. We'd put a hand on the wall to guide us as we climbed up, our eyes turned skyward in wonder of the more narrow passage as we got near the top. I remember as a kid, sitting there at the top, my brother playing lookout for pirate ships, when I would hear the heavy steady footfalls up the stairway. It almost reminded me of the footsteps at Aspen Grove, but the boots were different, not hard on the bottom, perhaps rubber soled and the steps were taken in a steady cadence, without missing a step. It took some time for the sounds to come up the winding stairway, but they would always end before coming to my perch at the top steps. Many times, I raced down to see who it was. There was no one. The tiny rock pile of an island was all ours.

More than a few times, I heard a man chuckling in the entryway, a slow faintly amused sound. The smell of pipe smoke would waft by in that area, but not anywhere else in the lighthouse.

I never felt threatened. He seemed to be a caretaker of sorts. I later asked my brother if he thought the lighthouse was unusual and he snorted with laughter. "What? You mean the footsteps and the man laughing? Oh, and the pipe smoke and the shadows?" I remember shivering when he mentioned that. I hadn't seen any strange shadows. He told me that when we climbed the stairs, he could see a shadow up above as if someone were pacing in the light's turret.

Well, one more ghostly story of the summer home for tomorrow's post and my unusual and charming childhood has been told.

**Get ready, every Friday I'm posting "Candlelight Tales," videos done by candlelight with wine in which I tell you in under 5 minutes a spooky story from my life.**

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conspiracy Theory Tuesday: Barcodes

This is a new Tuesday series. We're going to focus on some lesser-known conspiracy theories.

From this site:

Some conspiracy theorists have proposed that barcodes are really intended to serve as means of control by a putative world government, or that they are Satanic in intent.

Mary Stewart Relfe claims in "The New Money System 666" that barcodes secretly encode the number 666 - the Biblical "Number of the Beast".

This theory has been adopted by other fringe figures such as the "oracle" Sollog, who refuses to label any of his books with barcodes on the grounds that "any type of computer numbering systems MANDATED by any government or business is part of the PROPHECY of the BEAST controlling you."

(from) Mary Stewart Relfe, The New Money System 666, 1982

"The Prophet John identified this Cashless System of Commerce 1900 years ago as one in which business would be transacted with a 'Mark' and a Number; the Mark will obviously be a Bar Code; the Number will be '666;' the combination of the two, about which you will read in this book, will be an integral part of the '666 System'. . .

RECEIVING OF ONE'S OWN VOLITION THE MARK (BRAND) IN THE RIGHT HAND OR FOREHEAD; which I believe will be a Bar Code facsimile incorporating a concealed use of '666,' unintelligible to the eye,. . ." Mary Stewart Relfe, The New Money System 666, 1982, pp. xii, 206)

So, what do you think? Are we headed for hell?

New Point-Comfort: A Southern Tale of Haunting Part 1 of 3

(Above: Old vintage picture of the summer home in New Point-Comfort, a quiet town on an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay near a dock on a place called "Doctor's Creek.")

(Above: Not much different when we owned the place)

My father was retired from the Navy, having been in the Asiatic Fleet during WWII and Korean Wars. He was a water-loving boy from Norway. He needed to be on the water. So, my parents found this charming Victorian home on the southern part of the Chesapeake in Virginia, complete with a dock and a 37-foot cabin cruiser called the Vixen II.

(Above: Vixen II)

The home was interesting. It was on some stilts which was a good thing because a few times we went down to board up the home for a hurricane and ended up having to sit it out inside.

When we bought it from a well-to-do older bachelor, he let us having the contents of the house too which was furnished with amazing antiques and a library filled with books from the 1800s. The floors were all yellow pine. Downstairs, there was an entry way with a stairway, a library, a large living room, a big kitchen and a bathroom. There was also a long screened in veranda. Upstairs, there were three bedrooms, one of them an odd shaped one inside the "turret."

I kept the "Captain's Chair" supposedly carved by a sea captain in the 1800s. This gem sat in the library room where I would curl up on a rainy day and read the ancient books. In fact, I kept my favorite book from there, as well. It was the only children's book and used the term "soused," which for a kid I put into context of the character and figured he was mentally handicapped.

We would come in the springtime, plant a vegetable garden in the rich soil and go back home. When we came back in the summer, the garden was filled with abundance, there were pecan trees and us kids would rush to the docks to drop crab traps with chicken necks in them to catch blue crabs.

At 4 in the morning when the tide was low, father would wake us kids up and we'd pile into a rowboat with a lantern on the bow. We'd be sleepy and yawning but excited to go on an adventure in the dark. He'd row us way the hell out in the bay and we'd jump overboard into 3-foot deep water and walk around, feeling for clams and then dive down and get them and fill up the floor of the boat until sunrise.

It was there in the pitch darkness of the bay that we would hear the woman. She would call out one word, it sounded faintly like a name she was calling. A name that ended with an "ee" sound. We debated what she was calling. My father would gesture and we would all stand there in the warm bay water eyes darting all around us to figure out where the voice came from. There was no rhyme or reason. She would repeat it a few times in a row, be silent for minutes, yell it once, then nothing for 15 or 20 minutes. One time, father had us pile into the boat and we sat there listening until the sun rose. None of knew where this mysterious oyster beds were located. We always left in the middle of the night. When the light came up, we realized we could only see the tiniest hint of some land in the far off distance, a jut of land we knew was marshes and held no homes.

Later, stories came back to us through fishermen in the area that the woman's voice could be heard all over the Mobjack Bay area and it came from all directions, all times of the night and sometimes the day. There were plenty of maritime stories about it, but no one ever knew who she was or why she called out. One time, we all attempted calling back, but it didn't provoke her in the least. Apparently, we could hear her, she could not hear us.

This kind of living off the land attitude was important to our parents. They grew up in the Depression Era and knew how important survival was. Ironically, this lifestyle got me very attuned to the earth and healthy eating habits. They wanted us to have a rich childhood, but one that was grounded to the earth and not belongings which was why they never bought a TV for the house and did not buy toys for us as children. They wanted us to be resourceful. I wasn't thankful when I wanted a Barbie Corvette, but I am so thankful now.

With no radios or TVs, so us kids would go out on crazy adventures along the sandy roads of the backwater area. It was desolate and quiet and sometimes we'd play on the boat while father pumped the bilge, trying to get the poor boat running, or we'd play in the cemetery across the sandy road from the house, or perhaps go out to the abandoned lighthouse on an island and play pirates, but those two places are better left in the next two entries of this series over the next two days...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bigfoot Project

I don't know if it's all hype, but I've been hearing about the "Erickson Project" for some time now. Supposedly, the early underground talk was that it was a documentary being made that would include things no one had ever seen, evidence that would rock the world. Of course, Biscardi said this when "Bigfoot Lives" came out, as well. Check it out, tell me what you think.

"Paranormal Challenge" Reviewed

So, Zak Baggy Pants started another show. There is something to be said about his ambition, but even more to be said about his lack of creativity.

The show puts together two teams that are pitted against each other to get "evidence" of a haunting in a famously haunted location.

I won't even comment on how lame and boring it was or how funny it is to hear Zak try to speak like a grownup and act like he knows what he's talking about.

I hated the show. In fact, like the godawful "Haunted Collector," you will not hear me review or plug the show again.

If someone sent me in to salvage the show (the only way I'd ever see it again), I would tell them--you're doing it all wrong!

Here's some things that could perhaps revive the show:

Set up something that will make a shadow or a phantom sound and see which team debunks it.

Set a team of psychics against a team of traditional ghost hunters and see if there's any advantage.

Let the teams bring their own tools and use their own techniques. It could be more fun to see them trying out some crazy shit and having some strange methods.

I don't know what to say, Zak, except just go back to being the ghost tormentor that we enjoy chuckling at. Go ahead, get all hyped up and scream like a girl. Be sure and say the wrong things. Work that mop on your head into some gelled gem. Just, please, do not think of syndicating. Make your extra bucks promoting t-shirts and making people pay to hunt with you around the country. Give up on having an original thought. It's this thing called the Peter Principle. Check it out some time. Oh, hell, I'm not sure you understand research (the incubus incident and all), so let me tell you, "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

"Finding Bigfoot" Reviewed

"That's a squatch!" The new buzzword. I must take it to my ghost hunts and freak out my partners. If I say it just right, maybe follow it with a mock Bigfoot call, I might raise the dead, huh?

Last night's episode of "Finding Bigfoot" was in my favorite state in the Union--Oregon! If there is nirvana, it is Oregon! It has it has it all, it's magnificent every inch of it, the people are artists, open-minded, organic, intelligent, and real. I need to quit trying to sell the state or everyone will rush there and ruin the beautiful countryside and beaches. One creature, however, is brilliant in choosing it for his home--Bigfoot. Oh, another brilliant creature, Cliff, calls it home, as well. Hey, Cliff, shopping for a Bigfoot hunting girlfriend???

McKenzie River footage captured what might be Sasquatch on the shores of the river or perhaps a fisherman? That is what the team went to figure out. They found the environment to be suitable and even took a raft down the river to recreate the scenario. They tried to compare BoBo (their BF stand-in) with the same filming scenario. They figured the BF was probably around 6 to 6-1/2 feet tall. Matt (sigh) tweaked everything to be a Bigfoot no matter what is found. He will NEVER say something probably wasn't or accept evidence. Ranae thinks it's a person. It was fairly interesting simply by the coloration which was completely black as compared to BoBo and his tan coat, but then this team was there in a cold, wintry time of the year and the men who filmed it were there in the late spring/early summertime. Lighting could differ.

The team went out at nighttime. Cliff contemplates what sounds BF might like in primal calls. I have to smile. God, I love my dorks! Y'all know how much I have crushes on the nerds. I wonder if he makes BF sounds in the throes of passion? I think it'd actually make me curl my toes!

They went to another town to a meeting to find out what locals are saying about BF. This "Bigfoot and Beer" get together is yet another reason why I fucking love Oregon! Jeez! I really need to live there. They are my peeps. This is like a Bigfoot Anonymous meeting but with frothy cold beers and bar pub talk of encounters.

They had witnesses mark on the map where the sightings were. They narrowed down the region they needed to focus on. I appreciate that the team interviews groups, narrows down the best witness descriptions and then go to those locations. They may be overly enthusiastic about BF being everywhere, but I am so thankful for Ranae. Her instincts about witnesses and things that don't jive keeps it all down to earth. I so appreciate having her counterbalance with the team of male hormones pumped up on the hunt. Her doubts about one of the witnesses were brilliant and clear. One witness: Not credible. Now, two male fishermen who got a casted footprint were interviewed by Cliff and BoBo. They determine there were two Bigfoots involved in that account, one upriver screaming, another across the river with glowing eyes.

Now, they talk to some men who decided to use a bunny and some glowsticks to lure a Bigfoot. I love Ranae when she says she isn't sure about this story, some men with glowsticks, a live bunny in a cage and probably sitting back and having some beers. Not a good scenario. The men describe a huge hand in front of the cage, blocking it out with its size. The guys decide to try out the glowsticks and a bunny in a cage scenario. They do wood knocks and howls and look for heat signatures. They see the glowsticks under the bunny cage move. Yeah, well, the bunny is no doubt moving around in there. They get some tree knocks and decide to come back the next day.

The next day, they plan to blast some recorded BF sounds loudly up above where it will resonate below. They use electric motorcycles to approach the sound of a responding BF. BoBo and Ranae take the bikes and go out with a parabolic dish to listen for BF and hopefully sneak up on him. They appear to hear a sound "That's a Squatch!" (Hint: I would really like a t-shirt that says that if anyone is ambitious enough to make one!) The howls are pretty impressive. I got a shiver of delight. There's something so Blair Witch about them tromping around in the darkness. I'm not sure why they didn't get a sample of the supposedly fresh urine which might have had epithelial cells (skin) and DNA, but they didn't.

Y'all know I'm going to have to put in a comment of my own. I'd like to see Matt dropped from the team, he's fucking useless, but I would like to see them replace him with a professional tracker and woodsman. I think that would be an ideal scenario. Well, ideal would be that they add a brassy redhead who is a huge BF fan to the team, but alas that is not likely to happen. So, my second choice is Mr. Jeremiah Johnson type tracking professional. Hell, if he looks a little like Jeremiah too, I wouldn't complain!

I'm hooked. I love BF so much, I'll watch anyone hunt him. My favorite thing to do on a day off? Watch back-to-back BF documentaries. God, I love this critter and his home! The average person is just as uncomfortable in the woods as a haunted house, so I suspect this BF show will be picked up another season. I hope they shuffle out Matt and make Cliff the team leader, but other than that, I'm not going anywhere and you can expect a weekly review when the season is on and they really should give it more like 8-10 episodes instead of what I heard was a measly 6.

Next week's episode looks wicked awesome atop a snowy mountain. I can hardly wait! I will darken the room and get in the mood. Yeah, I know, I'm kinky!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sinking Islands, Underwater Ghost Towns

Ever since I saw the movie "In Dreams" (awesome scary movie with Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr) with a scene of divers diving in a like where a town was underneath, swimming amongst headstones and a church, I have been fascinated with the idea of abandoned sunken ghost towns.

Smith Island Chesapeake:
This island in the Chesapeake is lost to time. It is 3 miles long and 1 mile wide and at sea level. It's lost a good deal of its citizens to poor crabbing and fishing conditions. The graves are topped by heavy stones so when there's a high tide or flooding rains, the bodies don't wash away to sea. At the rate of shrinkage, the island will be gone by the end of this century.

Sharps Island:

Around the beginning of the 19th century, Sharps Island was a roughly 600-acre (240-hectare) farming and fishing community at the mouth of Maryland's Choptank River. At one time it boasted schools, a post office and a popular resort hotel, where vacationers from Baltimore and other locations would arrive by boat to while away the lazy summer days. But between 1850 and 1900, the island lost 80 percent of its land mass, and by 1960 it had been reduced to a shoal. Today it is entirely underwater, marked only by a partly submerged lighthouse.

Remember the movie "Deliverance?" Here's a dive to that town, Lake Jocassee, SC (go ahead and run the slider to closer to the end so you can see the dive if you don't want to hear the interview, but it is a nice story).

(Here's the cemetery on a dive...)

(Above: Loyston, TN, photographed before being sunk by a lake created from a dam)

Loyston (Wikipedia) was a community in Union County, Tennessee, USA, that was inundated by the waters of Norris Lake after the completion of Norris Dam in 1935.[1] Established in the early 19th century around a foundry built by its namesake, John Loy, over subsequent decades the community's location along State Highway 61 helped it grow into a trading center for local farmers. By the time the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began making plans to build Norris Dam in the early 1930s, Loyston had a population of approximately 70 residents, and consisted of a post office and several small businesses. Prior to inundation, TVA conducted extensive sociological surveys of Loyston's residents, and the community was documented by photographer Lewis Hine. Most of Loyston's residents relocated elsewhere in the area, with many forming the community of New Loyston in the hills to the south.

Adventure Sunday: Haunted Tours

I don't know about y'all, but I am soooo getting Halloween fever. I do this every June when we reach peak temperatures. I want to close the blinds, turn up the air-conditioning and watch horror movies and get all giddy thinking of candied apples, corn mazes, pumpkin carving and all things Halloween. With most of the country have sultry temperatures in the daytime, the idea of a nighttime ghost tour sounds pretty nice. Take advantage of the great nights and maybe even book a room downtown (haunted hotel preferably) and sign on for the ghost tour. Here's just some you can find around the country:

Philadelphia A candlelight nighttime walking tour including alleys, parks, and cemeteries.

Detroit A 3-hour tour with transport and ghost hunting tools in the metro area.

Boston This one is led by costumed actors in creepy garb giving a very moody tour.

Baltimore Tours include the waterfront maritime area and the historic cultural area.

Atlanta they offer a walking tour and a tour using a segway--way strange and cool.

New Orleans Cemeteries, voodoo, history--goosebumps!

Houston has a wide variety of places including abandoned cemeteries.

Los Angeles Dearly Departed tours of the underbelly of Hollywood deaths.

Portland OR A walking tour.

Green Bay: Get to go into haunted buildings.

Just punch in your city's name and haunted tours in Google and see what you come up with. Nowadays, there are plenty of ghost tours everywhere. It's also a romantic thing to take a date on because it's spooky, atmospheric, lots of walking in the dark, hand-holding and history.


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