Driving dogs?

OK, New Zealand at least it's not Hobbit-related

OK, I recently went on a long rant in another blog about New Zealand's over-the-top and flat-out creepy obsession with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. I understood it's pretty much the only real thing they have going for them at the moment, but warned them that they needed to go outside and do something new, get out of mom's basement a little. Well, it appears they listened to me and did indeed do something...unique?

What they did once they broke out into the wide open real world seems noble; I'll give them some credit for at the very least. However, at the end of the day perhaps they should just go back to the basement because I fear what they may come up with next.

In an attempt to show they are more than hobbit lovers, they decided to show how much they love their dogs. To demonstrate how seriously they take their four-pawed pals, they recently undertook an initiative to help boost pet adoptions by flaunting how smart dogs can actually be by teaching them to drive.

The training came over a course of seven months, teaching individual tricks such as putting the car into gear, accelerating, turning yadda yadda, and then slowly began to combine the different steps until they got to the point that they felt comfortable enough to put their dogs behind the wheels of a real car. There is a plan to have the dogs and their wheels make a more public showing soon with a national broadcast.

 

Christmas music, 24/7

The radio stays off.

Thanksgiving in the U.S is over. You know what that means? Christmas music, 24/7 on the TV, radio and anywhere you happen to be. Suddenly I wish I was deaf. And it's not so much a true hatred for the music- well OK at this point in my life, it is actually a pure hatred.

It's partly because of the repetitiveness, I know they do it to get people uplifted and in the “spirit of the season.” Also known as “get them in a nice happy bubble so they will go and impulse spend more.”

Another big reason it bothers me is that there is no variety to it; they almost all sound the same, be it old or new. The “new” versions are worse actually, as they literally try to reference every "classic” song ever written from sleighs to adding bells.

And yes, the religious aspects bother me too. Not why you may think, at least not totally. Part of it is using religion as a marketing tool. Both in terms of retail and as sort of a cultural propaganda. The more “winter fun” ones annoy me less for that reason because they are not trying to sell a faith through a song plastered all over.

Oh yes, then there is the historian side of things. I don't think I'll get too deep into that just yet, I'd rather hold onto it for a later rant. Suffice to say, Christmas music has reached overkill levels, risen from the dead and it gnawing on our brains. Just as soon as we think it's out, somebody has to be “cute” and throw up a 'Christmas in July' thing and get them going again. As soon as one creeps in, they ALL come in.

Why the half story?

When truth and idealism throw down.

I touched loosely on this once but not enough to ever fully get into the details I needed to, so this fail is dedicated to what point of view and limited scope we are taught without being educated on the full scope. Of course, I'm talking about Thanksgiving.

Oh yes, now they teach that there was more than one event and no one event can be placed as “the one,” but as young ones, we are taught of the valiant pilgrims fleeing religious oppression and founding the Plymouth rock colony. Sure, it's all well and good but how well do people, moreover kids, even understand what history teaches? Or is it more important to give half truths?

 

The wars between two different branches of Christendom in the UK, namely the Protestant and Catholics is well known to most of us. Too few however understand just how heavily this plagued the monarchy. “Well this is 'Merica not the UK stupid.” Alright, except there was no U.S. then this is where WE came from.

This is STILL our history. From 1455–1485, there was rampant turmoil between the Lancasters and York over political ideas, ideas of class and division of wealth and power over the British empire. These also carried with them the hand of different religious views as well.

While in the end of the wars of the roses saw the rise of the Tudor Dynasty, it did not fully end there, Henry the 8th inherited many of the old feuds as he applied sweeping changes. One was to separate the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church his father had made deals with.

Yet he was very tolerant of others and actually was quite welcoming to seeing churches adapt and adopt facets of each other. This did not sit well with a rather strict, puritan rivals. His children also inherited this, Elisabeth and her cousin Mary.

At the end of the day  the “oppression, prosecution” being fled from as we are taught was not really there beyond a rage quit from several failed generations attempting to enforce strict puritan take-overs of the Monarchy. While the Rule of James the 1st Was indeed one filled with horrors (again from those who actually know history), the motion had been set long before the actual landing.

IT was never an issue of freedom. It was a matter of control. Was I as detailed as I think I should have been? No, it's a blog, and to be honest, I'd much rather people take the initiative and learn more on their own. I'm fine with teaching a symbolic theme, such as togetherness. It's another thing when history gets skewed.

Parking lot iPad fail

Woman buys "iPad" at gas station, only to discover a mirror in place of the tablet.

I've needed a good fail to come across the web that spoke to me. Sure there are tons of fails but very few hit me in the right way, a way that really shows that common sense is a thing that is not always with us, and some of the most obvious things that should feel wrong somehow don't.A Texas woman was approached in a gas station parking lot by a man stating that he had some iPads and laptops that he was interested in selling. As though people popping up at a gas station and offering to sell high-end electronics from out of their trunk is obviously not questionable in the slightest.

Excitedly, she paid the $200 asking price and was handed an unopened FedEx Box, and thought nothing of it as the man hopped into his car and sped off. She opened the package to find what she believed to be a official packaging “because it had the apple logo and everything.”  When she opened the box, she quickly discovered herself - literally.

What was inside? A mirror roughly the size of the popular (though over-hyped in my experienced knowledge) tablet. She contacted authorities but admits to not being able to really provide anything to go on, not even a plate number.

Yet she did learn a valuable lesson. “Don't buy nothing on the streets from nobody" - her own words of wisdom. I know scammers like this exist because people DO fall for them, yet I can never get over just how easily people over look red flags without a second thought.

One-way bathroom mirrors

A creeper's heaven.

I've always found Austria to be a beautiful, yet confusing place. Vienna being the most confusing of places there-in (Let's be honest: most people here can't name any Austrian cities besides Vienna). Apparently however it was not confusing enough. How could Austria make people's logic brain hurt more? Install one-way mirrors looking from the men's restroom into the women's restroom, then brag about it.
Dots, an experimental sushi restaurant did just that (I love sushi, but the 'experimental' part just frightens and confuses me further.) One-way mirrors were placed between the two restrooms, allowing the men to see into the women's restroom. WOAH! Hold on there Mr. Creeper, don't pack your bags just yet. Ladies, fear not.

The mirror does not exactly look anyplace “sensitive” as it were. Sure I doubt many would be comfortable knowing someone is watching you do makeup touch-ups, bust like readjusts and the likes. The owners claim however that the mirror will be rotated, allowing the women to look into the men's restroom.

You THINK that's a good idea. Trust me, it's not. I've known many a male who will do some pretty stupid things when knowing they are on display. It's not pretty. Then again this is an “experimental sushi bar." That alone I think has me more bothered than the mirror bit. Great, this is going to be on my mind all day. Now I'm going to have to look that up and hope the image filters are being kind to me today. 

Denny's cashing in on The Hobbit

I doubt that Tolkien was a grand slam sort of guy.

Oh, look at that: another movie tie-in by a company in a vein attempt to win over the masses. Will it work? Well OBVIOUSLY it does or they wouldn't continue to keep doing it. The Hobbit is coming out soon enough and naturally, it's time to start the marketing. Just as the title suggests, it's Denny's and a Hobbit themed menu ( for a limited time, mind you) because eventually the age of Hobbits will pass and the time of land whales will return.One thing I'm pondering: How can someone have second breakfast when they serve breakfast all day? It's not really “second” breakfast when the “first” breakfast never technically ended. Am I over thinking this whole thing? Most likely. I will say though that the Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies actually sound bloody amazing.

By that I mean, they  “sound amazing,” which is a big difference from actually being amazing. Also keep an eye out for things like Shire Sausage and Seed Cake French Toast. Sadly there really is nothing Gollum though, he has a keen distaste for cooked things, but he loves his juicy fish. Of all the films to plug, I can't nag them for picking poorly.

I mean Peter Jackson turned Lord of the Rings into epicness and can ride that wave to build up The Hobbit. It's not like the time everyone was trying to plug the Americanized Godzilla. See and this is why this blog covers fails and flames things, all so I can mention the U.S. Godzilla in the same setting as The Hobbit and get away with it.

Police tase blind, 61-year-old man

They thought he had a sword.

When 61-year-old Colin Farmer decides to go out and about, it's slightly more complicated than it would be for most of us. Colin is blind, or at the very least, enough to the point that he needs the aide of a cane to get about. Little did he realize that this would actually land him in a spot of troubleAlso out and about on that day was a drunk man running about with a katana. One thing led to another and an officer somehow mistook Colin for the said perp, and tased him, before handcuffing him in the streets. He was released and taken to hospital after a second “and much brighter” officer arrived on the scene.

What gets me the most about this fail is how in the bloody hell can you mix up a cane intended for the blind and a katana? Not only is the length totally different, but the most telling difference between the two is that one is a very very thin five-foot cylindrical pole. The other is curved, made of of steel and has a sharpened edge, not to mention a guard, wrapped handle and no leather loop on the pommel to put around your wrist.

Nor does one walk around with a katana out in front of them bumping it into things and feeling around as they walk. That's pretty bad for the edge. I can understand mistaken identity of SOME objects But a long skinny cane for the blind and a katana? That’s like mistaking an umbrella for a shoe.

Two years later- drunk finally finds car

yeah I avoided the movie joke this time.

I LOVE DRUNKS. Well no not really – this is my pre story PSA by the way: I do not condone excessive revelry, driving while intoxicated, or anything else that may cause harm to another...you screw up thats your thing, but it's others that should be a priority. NOW, that aside back to this all to epic of a fail. Or perhaps a win, really depends on how you look at it.

 

One man in Germany- after a night of said drunkenness back in 2010 had apparently lost his car. ( yes I will avoid making a comment about movie plots) The problem was not that it was stolen, it was because he could not remember where he parked it. They searched for it, and never found it.

Now rolls in 2012 and an officer by chance stumbled upon an abandoned car with long expired tags. When running the info discovered that it was the long lost car from two years ago. Still where the drunk “ and most likely still drunk” owner had parked it, a whole four kilometers from where he “ thought” he left it. Four kilometers is just a little less than two and a half miles on the imperial scale. The real kicker is that the owner had over $50,000 dollars worth of tools in the trunk. How can you go two years when you have that sort of money invested in something lost? I will never understand some people. That and my German is elementary at best, so I'll have a hard enough time- more so if he's drunk and slurring.

 

Terry, a sheep with an upside down head

A strange phenomenon

Step right up folks, gather round, one and all. See Terry, the upside down sheep. When you look up, he's actually looking down. It's an oddity of nature to be sure. Stare into the upside down sheep eyes and marvel at Nature's savage prank.

Alright so I'm an absolutely horrible sideshow promoter, yet it had to be done. What you see here is just as it is: Terry, a sheep with an upside down head. Images and video of the sheep started rolling around the Internet recently and caused quite a buzz. Then again, that pretty much goes with any form of odd or interesting defect. And let's face it, the days of the Coney Island freak show are gone, so really all we're left with is marveling at mutated animals. 

It is really interesting to see all the different way things can go wrong with nature. Sheep with an upside down head, two headed snakes, three tailed dogs and so on. Of course, it's perfectly fine to exploit animals like that, but oh my goodness, if you so much as make a comment about people with three chins, you're intolerant. 


Now for those wondering, the sheep himself is actually doing quite well. The neighbor who took the photos and video did say that the animal has seen a vet and has shown to have no form of suffering associated with the condition and can do all the normal sheep-like things without any problems. You know what's up (or down) when you have an upside down head. Wait, does this mean that with he looks up, he gets a head rush? Or maybe it's actually half Australian. Ha, get it? Because it's only partly upside down...oh, you don't care.

Only on the Internet: Mummified cat slam dunking mummified bird

Seriously, I wish I made this up.

It's the Internet; it's weird, it's scary and anything and everything seems to have a place and a price, for better or worse. One such item found it's way onto eBay. And yes, just as the title suggested, it was a mummified cat playing basketball with a mummified bird. It's creepy to many and quite odd. In truth, there are shows dedicated purely to these exact sort of things, but that does not diminish the creepy factor at all.

Oh, one can rant that eBay claimed they would be doing away with “junk sales” and as much as I wouldn't touch this item with somebody else's 20 foot pole does not mean it's really a junk item. The recent ban sweeping eBay was directed at "magic potions, prayers, well wishes, spells” and the likes. You can still sell the hair ball from your clogged drain or a statue made completely out of duck poo.

Unless you stated it had magic healing properties then I suppose it may have some issues, but all depends on how you word it. What can one really say? There clearly really is a market for articulated skeletons of animals, mummified animals, old fashioned taxidermy and the more odd off shoots of such. 

It's important to note that human remains, however, are considered illegal to buy and sell. In some cases it can be done with a permit, though this usually pertains to medical specimen from before a certain date. Yet once more, it's odd and creepy, yet it's there and people see an art behind it.

That alone is all it needs to find its way onto the web and into places like eBay. Really not much one can do but take the moment to see it and go "huh?!” and pick apart why such a thing may be enjoyable to others. After all, not much good comes from blindly debasing everything, at least not until some effort has been made to understand first. Even as weirded out as said Mr. Kitty here leaves me, there is still a respectable aspect to it all.    

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