Back in the Frozen North

Actually the weather turned out to be not so bad. Loinfruit and I got the shack ready for winter. And my oysters look great. A year and a half ago0 I bought 400 tiny little baby oysters. They were about the size of my little fingernail. Now they’re big enough to eat. But I have mixed feelings. They’re like my own little babies. I don’t know if I can kill them. I made two cages for them. During the warm months they float at the surface. During the winter I sink them to near the bottom so they don’t freeze.

img_8042 img_8043 I got a nice email from Estonia last week. Taivo Põrk (Yes, that’s his name. I’m sure Dr. Pork’s parents were Estonian. I never knew.) asked me to post the Goatherd Story from 1996. It seems that the Estonian Minister of Agriculture is a goat farmer. It gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?

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How to Throw a Cast Net

Years ago, my cousin, Greg, was real good at it. Then he went away to earn a living. After many years he’s back and he showed me how to throw a cast net. There have been lots of Mullet around this autumn. Back when I was a kid they were thick in the water. I used to see tight packed schools thirty feet in diameter churning the water. You could almost walk on themOnce my father hit one with a brick and brought it home for dinner. And when I was in high school, whenever we needed to raise money for some project, we’d have a fish fry. Mighty fine. Smoked mullet is delicious. So is deep fried mullet. But it has to be very fresh. It goes bad fast. Also when I was a kid, the fishermen used gill nets. When they found a school of fish close to the beach, they would surround the fish with a very long gill net. Maybe 100 feet long or so. We would help them pull the net onto the beach and they would give us a fish in return. Way back then fish were all over the place. No longer. Commercial fishermen have to go out at least a hundred miles to find them. There was a fisherman once down here, this was back in the forties. He was arrested for fishing  mullet out of season. But he was acquitted. His lawyer successfully argued that a mullet is not really a fish. It’s a bird. This is because a mullet has a gizzard, and only birds have gizzards. I think it’s a true story. Here’s my cousin Greg showing me how to throw a cast net.

Here are two short stories from this time of year back in 20002. Effie does her best to make woodpecker stew, and Ernie gets a chin job…

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I get such interesting stuff in the mail

img_7249Nothing happened last week. I just got to get a life. Thank God I have good reading material to occupy my time.

Here are some Sundays from 1988. Back then we did things the old fashioned way, so I don’t have the color versions.

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High School Reunion Time

Good ol’ Seacow High! Last week we had our reunion. It was a long, long time ago when all graduated.Here’s a picture of part of the group:

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And these are the ones that were in my elementary school, dear old Anna Maria Elementary. Just to think that I’ve known these people since I was a little tiny kid. Wow! It brings tears to my pretty eyes. There’s Mary Jo and Delores and Doris and Betty Lu and Bobby and Freddy and Terry and little old me. I wish all of our old classmates could have been there.

15032220_10154663646154727_2081896768675096242_nI recalled one story of the time I swiped Colonel Doyl’s rabbit fur, the one he used to make static electricity. That week they took our senior class group pictures, and I wore the fur ala Jerry Colonna non my upper lip. We had a big graduating class, and the prison guards didn’t see my moustache until after it was a done deal. I caught proverbial hell from the warden and the rest of the Gestapo. They threatened to make my poor widowed mother pay to have the whole thing done over. Their final solution for the Yearbook was to cut my head out and paste somebody else’s head on my body. Yep, if you look at my old yearbook, I’m the guy with the tiny misshapen head.

Here’s what sunsets look like from my back yard:

img_8012Hey, Christmas is fast approaching. Do your grandpa a big favor and buy him one of my books. For ever two I sell, I make enough money to buy a bottle of beer.

You are probably aware that Effie sometimes has a hard time buying a quality cut of meat from Schultz the Butcher. Here are a few instances from 2005 and 2006…

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A Couple Birds…

There a several species of really cool birds on the West Florida coast. When I was a kid there weren’t quite so many wood storks. Now they appear to be abundant. They’re really cool. They stand about a meter tall, and they have beautiful white and black plumage. What makes them really neat though, is their ugly heads.img_7954Here’s a little film

When I was a kid down here there were two eagles’ nests in Palma Sola. Palma Sola is a little bay across from Anna Maria Island where I grew up. There were lots of big pine trees then. Now there’s only one, and it isn’t so big. But occasionally I have spotted a bald eagle sitting in it. One was there the other day as I drove by. All I had was my IPhone, so the resolution isn’t so good.

eagle-2And way up above flew her mate:

eagleHey, Remember that I have a couple books for sale. Check the link in the menu bar. Give one to your Uncle Herman for Christmas.

 

Simon from Estonia asked about a couple old stories including this one from 1995. And if you have an old favorite, let me know and I’ll do my best to find it .ernie-95-03-06 ernie-95-03-07 ernie-95-03-08 ernie-95-03-09 ernie-95-03-10 ernie-95-03-11 ernie-95-03-13 ernie-95-03-14 ernie-95-03-15 ernie-95-03-16ernie-95-03-17ernie-95-03-18

 

 

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Manatee County

That’s where I am and that’s where I spent my depraved childhood. There’s a reason why they named it Manatee Countee way back when. Check the video. It’s in the canal behind my cousin’s home where I am staying while I’m in Florida.

Manatees were called sea cows by seafarers way back when America was first discovered. I heard that the sailors then mistook them for mermaids. I guess that might happen after you’ve been holed up in a stinky ship with fifty other stinky men for 5 or 6 months. Sea cows start looking kind of attractive. I went to Manatee High School, home of the Fighting Sea Cows. As a matter of fact, I and my boyhood chum, Freddy, are going to a high school reunion next weekend. I won’t say how long it’s been, but most of my former classmates don’t have teeth any longer. I mentioned in and earlier blog the the world’s oldest know sea cow lives in Bradenton. I saw Baby Snoots when I was a teenager. He’s still around and fighting off the old sailors I mentioned above. Nowadays they call him Snooty. Finally, here’s an old photo of a dead sea cow that washed up on the shore of Bradenton Beach, right by the old wooden bridge. This was about 1956. There’s another photo somewhere of my mother sitting on it. I’ll bet YOUR mother never sat on a dead sea cow.

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I think I’ll draw a story about Bob the Sea Cow. But meantime, Here are some Sundays from 1998:

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What a beautiful Automobile

If you don’t know, I have a couple books available. Check the link above.

Pontus emailed me asking if I could find a particular daily comic strip from years ago. Seems he loves old DeSotos. Take a look at his 1959. He didn’t say what model it is. It’s a beauty. 257Most won’t remember “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marks. He was sponsored by DeSoto. His show was first on radio and later on tv. You can find his radio show by Googling “Old Time Radio”. And, by the way, DeSoto was the car company with automatic transmissions. Bet you didn’t know that. Here’s a Youtube link to Groucho’s tv show.

Here’s the strip Pontus asked for:ernie-93-03-10pAnd here’s a DeSoto story from a couple weeks before:

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A Little Science Quiz

First let me remind you that I have a couple collections available in the Books and Stuff page. There’s a link on the menu bar.

Now here’s a little science quiz. As you know I’m Dr. Buddy, the world’s smartest genius. I’ve noticed this phenomonon  (As you might have just noticed, I don’t know how to spell phenonomon)  The pan has  a rounded bottom on a glass cook top stove. When the water boils the pan rocks. Why is this?

Here’s what I think: It rocks to one side which touches the stove and it gets instantaneously hotter. Then it rocks back and the same thing happens on the other side. I believe when one side touches, water boils faster creating more steam. Now when the steam in in a bubble in the water, it has the same mass as the water it was created from. When it bursts to the surface, its weight is released into the air, and that side becomes instantaneously lighter, and so the pan rocks back to the heavier side. But this could be wrong and it probably is. Could the bursting bubbles of steam provide a momentum transfer to the side of the pan they escape from? Any thoughts from you scientists out there. Email me if you think you know the solution.

A reqader named Andrew sent me a terrific email. I think it’s terrific mainly because he included a qupote from Alfred Packer’s trial, and I had never read it before. You may or may not know that Mother Packer (Her first name is Alferda) is named after Alferd Packer, the notorious Colorado cannibal (The cafeteria at the University of Colorado is named after him) This is from Packers trial:

Stand up yah voracious man-eatin’ sonofabitch and receive yir sintince. When yah came to Hinsdale County, there was siven Dimmycrats. But you, yah et five of ’em, goddam yah. I sintince yah t’ be hanged by th’ neck ontil yer dead, dead, dead, as a warnin’ ag’in reducin’ th’ Dimmycratic populayshun of this county. Packer, you Republican cannibal, I would sintince ya ta hell but the statutes forbid it.

Although he was sentenced to death, he got himself a retrial and was sentenced to 40 years.

alferd_packerAndrew must be a fun guy:

BTW, a fun exercise when out with friends. When you give your name to the hostess, use “Donner”. I cannot begin to describe the satisfaction of hearing “Donner, party of 8, Donner, party of 8” over the speaker. Better still is the small percentage of folks whose heads whip around, eyes wide, and the small smile that creeps onto their faces.

If you don’t know, this refers to the Donner party who got stranded in the mountains in California and ate one another. Thanks Andrew!

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Back in Florida

Yes, I’m back, just in time for that hurricane. But I’m on the West Coast, and Matthew went up the East Coast, and all we got here was some wind and a little rain. Hurricanes don’t bother me. I’ve been through them, and I’m very much at home in the water. I remember the time our trailer floated out to sea. I was paddling like crazy.

Back a couple weeks ago Doctor Buddy was giving you some free medical advice. Recall the automatic butt scratcher? Am I psychic or what?! Check the link. Tobias sent it to me.

Hey check out the nice stand of Lepiotas.

img_7921I think they’re Leucoagaricus naucinus. You didn’t know that I was an amateur mycologist, did you? I’ve been picking mushrooms for almost 40 years. And I only poisoned myself once. Back in Tallahassee, Florida when I was in graduate school, I used to hang out at a really filthy bar called the Pastime Tavern. I can remember Leo the bartender sitting on the bar after closing and shooting rats with his 22 rifle. Once in the men’s room at the back of the pool hall a giant fungus grew out of the urinal down to the floor and then all the way up to the ceiling. That’s when I became fascinated with mushrooms. Speaking of which, look what came in Al’s mail last week:

brain-fungusWow! An intelligent mushroom! Actually, I know a few people who are about as smart as fungus. But I know this particular mushroom as a Hairy Tooth Fungus. I’ve eaten several over the years. It hasn’t done my brain much good.

Hey! I put together two books in case you haven’t heard. You can get them in the link on my menu bar.

 

Mean time, this is from1990. Ernie gets in trouble with the law…ernie-90-10-08 ernie-90-10-09 ernie-90-10-10 ernie-90-10-11 ernie-90-10-12 ernie-90-10-13 ernie-90-10-15 ernie-90-10-16 ernie-90-10-17 ernie-90-10-18 ernie-90-10-19 ernie-90-10-20

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My Sister Has Big Ears

Take a look. These elephant ears are MASSIVE! Take it from me.

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I know quite a bit about elephant ears. When I was a kid in Florida we had an elephant ear plant right by our front door. I used to tear off little pieces and eat it. It didn’t taste too good, but it kind of looked like cabbage, so I figured it had to be pretty good for you. Turns out elephant ears are poison. Never hurt me much. When I was real little in Pennsylvania I liked to eat a certain of clover. It was a light yellow green in color and grew in little bunches. Turns out when I grew up I learned that it was poison too. It tasted good, though. I like to go out into the woods and find wild mushrooms. I only poisoned myself once.

If you haven’t heard, I have two books you can order from Amazon. Click the link in the menu above.

Here’s a Sunday Spencer marathon from 2005

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