Monthly Archives: March 2008

Goats and Sheep

Ever since I heard about the tragic death of Rev. Liston G. Richardson yesterday, I’ve had a certain song running through my mind.

The minister from the Clarksville area got tangled up with an angry goat on his farm. The 76-year-old reverend got entangled in the rope he was using to try to lead the goat to another pen and died. The rope was wrapped around both his neck and his feet when he was discovered.

Family members and emergency workers called to the scene had trouble getting the menacing goat away from the body. According to the story linked above, one of his sons shot the goat later in the day.

And with all that, I still keep humming Cake’s “Sheep Go To Heaven” which repeats the line “Sheep go to Heaven. Goats go to Hell.”

I know. It’s morbid. But I’m the only one who has to live with this brain. You can thank me later for keeping most of my ideas to myself.

Snake Week Collides With Easter Bunny

When I turned this into Snake Week, I didn’t think about it coinciding with the Easter holiday.

I was rolling from rattlesnake vodka to St. Patrick’s snake cleansing of Ireland and on to motorcycle mishaps attributed to rattlers.

However, the calendar is telling me Easter is just a few days away.

In order to get everyone in the mood for egg hunts and milk chocolate bunnies while still carrying out the reptile theme, I present you with this video bit.

And don’t fret when you start watching, the furry one wins.

Please note, no animals were harmed in the making of this post.

Rattlesnakes Make Poor Passengers

I see a theme forming here at Squirrel Queen’s home this week.

Discovery Channel gets to have Shark Week. SQ is putting together Snake Week.

Now, no hissing from the peanut gallery. Hissing, get it, huh, hissing like a snake. OK, I’ll stop with that.

But back to Snakes.

Referring to the headline above, this is not a movie review for “Snakes on a Plane.”

Instead, it’s a story about a motorcyclist in Louisiana whose journey came to an abrupt end when the rattlesnake he’d tied to his cycle began to come loose.

Yes, you read that right.

Let’s review. The snake he tied to his cycle.

Here’s the link for the entire tale.

Vroom, Vroom, Hiss, Wobble, Crash.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Begora!

I love that word, damn it.

Wait, I love to say damn it too, but on this special day I’ll stick with Begora to honor St. Patrick’s excellent work as a snake herder. Maybe he was just rounding up all the reptiles in order to slip the legless wonders into bottles of vodka?

To get you into the mood for the day, I’ve rounded up three classic commercials with an Irish theme – Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s, Irish Spring deodorant soap and an old Lucky Charms commercial from way back when there were only four different marshmallow shapes in the box.

Here we go down nostalgia lane.

I’ll admit I’ve never sucked back one of those minty dairy concoctions, although it is a bit intriguing. Wait, what was I thinking. Pass on the offer. If I’m drinking anything in shades of grass today, it will be green beer. For more Shamrock Shake commercials, head here.

Now, pucker up and whistle along as we get all get squeaky clean.

Carving up a bar of soap must be a way for a frustrated lad to relieve some tension when the lasses aren’t responding to his wooing. That or it’s some threatening and weird fetish. Cleanliness is next to Irishness.

And finally, a 1970s version of those magically delicious breakfast treats.

I actually found the inaugural Lucky Charms commercial which was filmed in black and white but made a point of showing the different shapes and telling the viewer what color they were. The original four shapes and corresponding hues were yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers and pink hearts. I think they’re now actually packing up to about 64 different shapes of the dehydrated little marshmallow bits in a box. That’s one for every color, not in a rainbow, but in a box of Crayola crayons.

Don’t forget to wear something green and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.

Rattlesnake Vodka is Meaner than Bacon Vodka

I understand there’s a buzz in the liquor world over Bacon Vodka, but a man in Texas has come up with something with more bite – Rattlesnake Vodka.

Agents for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission seized 410 bottles of the hissing vodka that each included a 10-inch long rattlesnake from Bayou Bob’s Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch in Palo Pinto County.

Supposedly, there’s an aphrodisiac quality to the reptile-infused illegal hooch.

Sure, eating the worm in tequila is supposed to provide visions. Imagine the kick this venomous vodka could provide. That’s just what the authorities thought.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Internet searches show Bayou Bob’s isn’t the only location selling exotic libations which are popular in Asia. Thai scorpion vodka, cobra whiskey, giant centipede whiskey, herbal gecko lizard wine and Mekong River eel wine are ll available online.

Uh Oh, SpaghettiOs Creator Passes Away

An Internet obituary alerted me to the passing of an American food icon – Kurt Eberling, Sr, the creator of Spaghetti-Os – passed away on Monday, March 10, 2008.

As a kid, one of the treats my sister and I got occasionally as part of our daily repasts came straight out of a can. As an adult, every once in a long while I’ll stroll down that familiar gastronomical nostalgic path, opening a can of the kiddie pasta about every three years or so.

Franco-American Spaghetti-Os were not a regular purchase by mom as she strolled through the aisles of our local grocery during the 1970s. Occasionally, though, a can did end up in her shopping cart.

The resulting display of circular, soft noodles floating in an orange/red tomato sauce always added an air of excitement to the usual meat-and-three dining experience at our humble abode.

Okay. I’ll be honest. It brought a buzz from my sister and me.

Now that I think back, my Mom and Dad never did put a heaping helping of this delicacy on their plates. My sis and I preferred our Os plain, without the addition of odd meatballs or weird bits of franks in the sauce.

Eberling came up with new recipes for the Campbell Soup company in their research and development department. Spaghetti-Os hit the market in October of 1965.

Don’t let his affiliation with the canned food fool you. The man who was once called the “worldwide soup guru” was a former president of the Chefs Association of Philadelphia.

Let’s all break out a can opener and grab a spoon as we slurp up those noodles and sing a somber version of “Uh Oh Spaghetti-Os” today.

Tornado Hits The Georgia Dome During SEC Men’s Tournament

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Last night was an odd one for college basketball. Mother Nature can play a role in the outdoor athletics of football in the fall and winter and baseball in the spring and summer, but rarely does she impede the progress of a basketball tourney.

Tornadoes blowing through Atlanta disrupted the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament and I happened to be watching the game as it was played. It was really crazy and I have to commend the announcers for Raycom, led by Tim Brando, for handling the situation with aplomb.

I was getting my March Madness groove on early for most of the day yesterday. I watched parts of the Tarheels and Florida State tangling early on Friday and saw a few minutes of the Kansas win too. I headed to the office for a while before covering a high school baseball game between two teams in my area.

After coming home from the local diamond and warming my chilled body over a warmed-up plate of leftover spaghetti, I turned the TV to more college basketball conference tourney action. I opted to watch the SEC’s quarterfinal round with Alabama and Mississippi State squaring off in a game that was pretty close most of the way through. I thought the big excitement of the game was going to be a leaning 3-pointer by Mykal Riley at the buzzer to end regulation and force overtime.

Wrong!!

While I was watching the announcers and the teams prepare for the OT, I began to notice some static in the video. I thought to myself there must be a storm moving through disrupting the satellite signal. The action began and a whistle for a foul stopped the action with 2:11 left in the extra session. Nothing unusual there.

But then, I heard a rumble and the announcers made note of something happening in the crowd behind them. Cameras panned up and you could see fans streaming up out of the arena.

Not long after the scene went to static. The signal was only completely disrupted for a few seconds but it definitely reminded me of the earthquake in San Francisco that disrupted the Bay Bridge World Series between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 17, 1989.

As players and coaches left the court and headed to the locker rooms, the announcers tried to make sense of what was happening above and around them. The catwalks and light standards above the arena were swaying, cameras pointed out tears in the “skin” of the dome and the surrounding teflon-coated cover flapping in the breeze.

Small bits of debris had fallen on the court and other pieces of what appeared to be paper or insulation were drifting and floating in the wind whipping through the upper areas of the 29-story tall arena.

Brando compared the noise of wind rushing into the arena to a freight train, typical of a tornado. He relayed that he had been in a tornado before and the sound was comparable. At this time, it was not confirmed as tornadic activity, but later reports declared the storm cell a twister.

After a 63-minute delay play was resumed with Mississippi State winning the game. Another quarterfinal contest between Georgia’s Bulldogs and Kentucky’s Wildcats was scheduled to be played after the Mississippi State win, but SEC officials moved that game to Saturday afternoon in a different location. Now the winner of that game must play twice on Saturday – in their quarterfinal game at noon and later on Saturday night in a semifinal contest.

Georgia Tech, located in Atlanta, but not a member of the SEC, was to host the remainder of the conference’s tourney games. The arena on Tech’s campus holds less than half of the fans, so only players, cheerleaders, pep band members, families of the players and credentialed media members and conference representatives could attend. That decision was made to keep crowds of SEC fans from coming into the downtown area, eliminating the need for extra security and keeping citizens out of areas that were damaged and disrupted by the storms.

The CNN building and the Omni Hotel were two of the other well-known structures damaged by the high winds. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reader submitted pics of damage.

The area surrounding the Georgia Dome was littered with pieces of debris and glass.

The shot that forced overtime in the Mississippi State/Alabama game may have saved lives. Should the game have ended in regulation, those crimson-clad fans would have streamed out into the street earlier, coinciding with the arrival of the storm winds. Falling debris could easily have injured fans on the street of Atlanta.

It was really weird to watch as an observer outside the area.

I’ve been covering games before when the power went out. About 20 years ago, storms caused a temporary power outage in Murfreesboro during the state tournaments. That certainly created a sense of unease in the cavernous dark arena mostly filled with strangers. The lights weren’t out long, but it was long enough.

Power never went out in the Georgia Dome, but it was obvious something was wrong with parts of the building swaying, wind roaring through the facility and debris falling from above.

Seeing the catwalks moving, my first thought was of an earthquake, but the description of the noise as a freight train immediately changed that to thoughts of tornadoes.

One of the players, Mississippi State guard Ben Hansbrough, said after the game during a press conference he heard a loud boom and wasn’t sure if it was a tornado or a terrorist bomb. That’s just part of the era we live in.

I attended the second game the St. Louis Cardinals played immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11. That was another intense fan experience with security at an extremely high level.

The logistics of moving an entire tournament to another arena on about a 13-hour notice must have been crazy both for the conference officials and the media outlets covering the games.

All-in-all, it was one weird night for sports.

Are You Paying Attention?

So you think you have an eye for details?

Watch this video and keep up with how many passes the folks wearing white T-shirts make during the scramble.

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You didn’t see that last question coming did you? I’ll admit I didn’t either.

This is an example of a phenomenon called inattentional blindness. The brain filters out what it doesn’t consider pertinent info.

If you want to see more examples of similar videos and experiments, head to PopFi.

Ogg the Caveman and Jack Nicholson Clash in Campaign/NBA Showdown

Psychozilla Tribune has another update in the ongoing campaign saga of Ogg the Caveman, John McCain’s thawed out running mate in the 2008 election.

It seems the prehistoric fan of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors had a run-in with Hillary Clinton supporter and Lakers lover Jack Nicholson at a basketball game earlier this week.

Tex & Edna Boil’s Organ Emporium Video

So Newscoma posted a video on her blog of an entrepreneurial couple (Sharon and Fred) wooing customers to their video business with an online commercial that reminded me of one thing – Tex and Edna Boil’s Organ Emporium.

Yes, Andrea Martin and Dave Thomas nailed local television commercials in the 1970s with their performances as the Boils on SCTV. Brilliant stuff as was the entire show.

Sharon and Fred make their online pitch just a bit brighter by including animation for a song about Ogopogo – a Loch Ness Monster sort of creature. Who needs a movie, indeed!

Here’s a link to another magical Boil moment on SCTV. Makes me want to tickle the ivories on a Rhythm Ace.

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