Friday, July 18, 2014

"Intermarché - 'Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables'"

Please do it here. Please, please.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone and welcome back! It has been a unique week of sorts.... I've got little Munchkins running around my place. Exciting and busy at the same time.... Anyways, your questions.

1) What is the greatest amount of people you've had in your home?

2) What is the perfect outdoor temperature for you?

3) What is your favorite T-shirt?

4) What is your favorite vacation spot?

Enjoy your weekend!

Top Dog/Smoke'd on the water menu

Recently Orbs posted about Top Dog closing. 
Smoke'd on the Water is open, and this is 
the updated menu for the summer, 
thought I'd share.  I can personally vouch for the cheese curds, super good!
If it's the same as he did Top Dog, prices include tax, great food, check him out! I'm in for going sometime next week if anybody wants to join. My sister and I may be down there Wednesday, weather permitting :)

Open Blog - Friday

Every day excites me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bump or Hump?

I learned to call them speed bumps. They're usually a raised rumble strip.

Then I read the signs at WalMart's Neighborhood Mart:

Of course, I noticed the sign before, but I never read it.  I assumed it said "Speed Bump."

I checked the other sign just to be sure no one was whiting out parts of the "B."

So, what do you call them?

 P.S.  If they put these up, I'd notice them for sure:

Why Women Can't Sleep

This is from the link provided by jed on today's open blog:

Have you ever wondered how a woman's brain works?'s finally explained here in one, easy-to-understand illustration: 

Every one of those little blue balls is a thought about something that needs to be done, a decision or a problem that needs to be solved.

A man has only 2 balls and they consume all his thoughts.

Best of Racine 2014 - Sandwich shop

You can think of it as a diner, or sandwich shop. 
It has a feel all of it's own. 
Do you have a favorite sandwich shop?
Maybe it's the food, maybe it's the atmosphere, 
somewhere has to be your "go-to" in your mind
when you think "sandwich shop", 
who is yours?

Vote now!

Alltime10s Thursdays

Open Blog - Thursday

Count your blessings.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Different Type of Sunset Picture

I took these a couple of weeks ago but am just getting around to sharing them. Both of them were taken with my cellphone through a telescope.

The first one was taken through a Lunt 60mm hydroghen alpha telescope. This telescope only lets through a very specific color of light given off by hydrogen (656nanometers for those keeping track at home). This lies in the red-orange part of the spectrum. As the Sun was setting, I got some saguaros in the foreground.

I then hopped over the to the 6 inch Nexstar scope I had setup with a white light filter. As the name implies, this filter lets trough all colors of light (at least visible light) but filters out enough that it is safe to look at the Sun with a telescope.

Look closely at the top limb of the Sun in this pic. You can just see a little bit of the blue rim in this pic. Earth's atmosphere acts as a prism and separates sunlight into its component colors. You can't see this naked eye, but with a telescope you can magnify it enough to be seen (and yes, this is the first step in forming the green flashes I try to photograph).

We have lots of clouds in Tucson, so it is kind of the off season here for photography. The improv theater is also keeping me busy between performing in shows, working tech and teaching classes.

"ACLU gets involved. Questions Racine DA Rich Chiapete’s dismissal of Racine Police Dept in fatal shooting of mentally ill man."

From Racine Community Media:

Image Credit: Racine Community Media

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my cool cats!  How are you?  We’re having a chilly summer.  I wonder if our grass will go brown in August.  Maybe not this year.  Everything is growing very well except at a few flooded out spots.  But already I dread next winter.  The last one made an impression.  When did Wisconsin move to the arctic? Who do I complain to?

Climate change is probably the result of humans poisoning our environment.  If it is, does anyone know how to set things “right?”  Just cutting back on emissions won’t do it.  It took millions of years for our atmosphere to form.  We ruined it in a hundred years or so.  I hope that Mr. Stephen Hawkings or some other super brain figures it out.  If not, we might be out of luck and soon living in igloos.

The political climate is poisonous, too.  All that hot air hurts the atmosphere.

Last week, Señor Zanza suddenly announced the arrival of his children for a visit.  11 boys mad 4 girls.  I didn’t know what to think: “So, he’s married.  Or maybe he’s divorced and doesn’t have many visitation rights.”

Whatever the reason, there were 15 children who we had to take care of for now.  Where would they sleep?  Señor Zanza kindly offered to take his car out of our garage so his children could sleep there.  Before I could object, all of his kids were out there, having a ball.

I finally got some time alone with Señor Zanza.  I asked him about the children and his martial status.  He vowed to the gods above that all of the children were from pervious marriages, now deceased or divorced. 

Oh my, I’m terribly mixed-up and hurt now.  My eyes are blurring from tears and I can’t see the screen.  I’m going to cut this short.

Thank you for taking time from your busy day to visit with me.  I always appreciate visitors.

What’s next in technology?  Ask:

Enjoy the weather, Irregulars.  Be careful. School is out and everyone is into full summer fun mode.  Vaginate!

Open Blog - Wednesday

May your day be as beautiful as these flowers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THE DOWN AND DIRTY by Shade Hemlock

The Epiphany

Reflecting back to the very beginning..... Chicago....1978.   I was not born and raised in "the business."  My dad was not an Undertaker and neither was my Grand Pappy.  Dad was a dentist and a very great one at that. 

 "Pappy" was a retired Chicago cop. He was in great shape, handsome, and took care of a the roughest police district in the world named "Bloody Maxwell" .  It was a melting pot of many people on the near west side. Grand Pappy and Dad were instrumental in helping me by teaching me how to run a business, so they are aforementioned.

I am often asked how, exactly,  did I even think to become a 
mortician? Where do I start?  Should I start with my successes, or perhaps my failures?  Or for the other darkest sides of this business that put me to my knees or made me shed tears for tragic losses of life....or having to hide laughter from things that were just too funny and had to immediately exit. I often find myself explaining about embalming and debunking myths pertaining to the dead....there are
many tales to tell. I will write about these subjects in future writings.

I guess I will start at the beginning......

I just finished the university as a language major, specializing in the German language with four year degree. I was 22 years old and I STILL did not know what the heck to do for a living.  I was in shock that I actually did this.... getting a degree in GERMAN!!! What the heck was I even thinking?  I got this degree and had no valid idea what I was going to do with it!  I never told my Dad that "Deutsch Sprechen" was not exactly my gig. 

 I was never really guided in the right direction of selecting a worthwhile occupation at the time. He didn't care that much, but I could never admit it to him.... he knew though that it was partially wasted, but I would be onto something bigger eventually.  He would sarcastically speak German to me all the time, even in public and laugh out loud right at me.  He sounded like a staunch old German man, but thought he was the funniest thing, as he sounded almost Schultz-like (Hogans Heros).  He did not know German, but made a point to buy Berlitz tape courses just toconstantly mess with me. On the other hand, I did have many bio sciences on my transcripts which really did become my passion as time unfolded. 

SO, as the story goes.... one night I met these people in a bar..... and they were telling me about where they worked. A funeral home!!! I felt exhilarated!  I knew I would love knowing about this!!! We did some disco line dancing and talked more and drank even more, for it was the 70's.    I was a little tipsy but I was maintaining normalcy. I was highly inquisitive about the whole topic. The funeral home was in walking distance of the bar....hmmmmm.  A tour was in order, and I schemed to get what I wanted.

My posse of girlfriends,  my cousin, and I went to funeral home with a young man who claimed to be the manager of it. We were all being pretty bad with our loud and careless behavior. We were making jokes about the Stiffs and the Zombies from The Night of the Living Dead. Svengoolie was even mentioned. It was nearly midnight and I was thinking to myself that this situation had great potential in making a fun time even better.  He offered a tour and most of us accepted, with the exception of my cousin. I forced her to go because she was crashing at my place for the night anyways. She begrudgingly went. Besides, the walk would sober us up a bit.

We walked over and began touring the funeral home.  We entered with a bit of hesitation at first glance, as reality hit us in the face upon our entrance into the dimly lit foyer. We saw names of deceased on the wooden boards with white letters. I knew these were not just dead bodies, but people who once loved and were loved , and who also felt hardship and illness.  It all began to fall in place.  It was a bit chilling though.

The next  room we entered was the parlor.   We were looking at all the dead bodies in the caskets.  They were already lying in state and presented well with care of the embalmer. They were waiting to be viewed the following day. Their faces had a peaceful look and seemed to have a hint of a smile.  One of the caskets were closed and I asked our new friend about this. He told me there had been a terrible fatal accident and that kid had sustained major facial trauma.  It was a 17 year old boy. I felt so bad, as he was even younger than I was.

We carried around our glasses filled with our new friend's private stash of straight bourbon that he insisted on pouring for us.  So much for sobering up.  Anyway, there was so much to see and this was really getting to be interesting and fun for me!  We went into the morgue where all the preparations were done on the dead and saw even more bodies on the white porcelain tables, covered with white sheets.  We saw embalming machines, and various tools, and chemicals they used to preserve the remains.  There was just too much to absorb.

Next, of course, we went into the casket showroom.  I never saw such a selection of coffins and caskets before and I wanted to see what it felt like to be dead.  I layed in a pink steel casket with pretty pink velvet embroidered lining. I kept thinking that if the lid slammed down, they would surely forget about me and leave. Another one of my friends picked her favorite and got in. What a hoot!  

Then we went into the chapel where the services were held.  He switched on the sound system to play the funeral music, and after that the Rolling Stone were playing. Then the party was beginning to end for me.  The parlor was not too comforting and I had a few too many bourbons.  

No one was fit to drive. I told my friends it was time to leave and we had to take the CTA home.  I puked later.  And that was my
Epiphany, to become a mortician.  That really was a tale from the mortuary.

So I signed up for school to become a mortician and started
in winter. The school was ironically across from the American
Medical Association, there were always plenty of jokes regarding this.  People said we would get to embalm the Doctor's mistakes. That was where we did classroom studies.
Then.... the actual embalming class was held at the old Cook County Morgue. That part is when it all came to life.  At least it did for me. 

The later years of my life brought me to the in between, to save lives and I became a paramedic. I observed many occasions of people crossing over to death from life perhaps in a mere second of time. 
Some parts of both my careers have many sad and very touching events. Parts also have happy, or very maddening parts dotted with pure insanity.  To expound even further....hours of boredom interrupted by sheer scathing terror. I really never wanted a 9 to 5 office job, anyways.

When your toast comes out of the toaster in the morning like this, you know it is gonna be a really bad day.


Death Wish

These people must have a death wish.......gezzzz

"Frank, the happiest dog ever"

That tail should be attached to a generator.

fat food

This is what happens when you go grocery shopping when you are hungry

Open Blog - Tuesday

Now I want lemonade/