Monday, April 30, 2012


Yes it is ladies and gentlemen but in case you've forgotten this most special of Holidays lets review the course of festive events!


Every April May Maple's Eve before the sun goes down, far away in the Great Northern Maple Forest (specific location unknown but narrowed down to Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine) April May Maple climbs to the highest limbs of The Great Maple, the biggest maple tree in the world. From this vantage point she can see the whole planet (its the usual mystical holiday hoo-hah, just run with it) She looks for those bad people who have forgotten about AMME and who do not celebrate this most ancient (relatively speaking) of Holidays. She singles out a dozen of the worst offenders.

Those who have not grown maple seedlings to plant on April May Maple Eve go straight to the naughty list. No Molson delivery? Ditto. Not planning a pancake fest? No scraps of doggerel inscribed foolscap ready for performing? Not ready to bust some dance moves to "Magdalena"?? Guess what list YOU are on! (And by the way, if anyone ever serves Mrs Butterworth in lieu of 100% maple surple, well, there is a special spot in Mike Logan's Bog for you!) April May Maple puts on the traditional Holiday costume, making sure to have her cape on.


There, that's much better!

Just before dark she harnesses the mighty draft horses, Alpo and Kennel Ration to the Sugar Sledge...

And gets down to business. Visiting all the houses on the naughty list she parks the sled around back...

Picks the lock on the side door...

Leaves a half dozen maple sugar candies by way of calling card...

Steals, er, liberates the big flat screen tv...

And then on to the next stop, circling the world at supernatural holiday speed, especially for a sugar sledge and two bucket-footed draft horses.


Meanwhile, darkness falls and the festive throngs begin to deploy, everywhere there are groups of doggerellers going house to house, declaiming horrid verse on the subject of Delilah's hemorrhoids, or extinct proto-elephants, or indeed on any topic whatsoever.

One of the beautiful things about AMME is no one ever has to stick to the plot.

Primarily because there really isn't one. 

Doggerellers are met by their friends and neighbors with an ocean of Molson...


or a tower of syrup dripping pancakery, or perhaps pelted with empty beer cans, depending on the odiousness of their odes.  

At midnight the maple seedlings are planted!

Sky lanterns released!

And the dancing begins, with Magdalena as the lead off tune!

Meanwhile, all dozen large flat screen tv's collected and candies distributed, and using the magic of Holiday Standard Timewarping (HST) April May Maple visits allllll the festive celebrations in turn, in disguise of course. AMM is looking for a dozen celebrants who are guzzling Molson with a will, packing pancakes into their yaps like a cannoneer ramming a powder charge home...

and generally getting into the spirit of the season.

AMM, mistress of disguise could be anyone in the crowd...

Anyone at all!

Yes, anyone!

But once the 12 best revelers are identified AMM runs a second 12 stop route, dropping off those slightly used and extremely hot large flat screen tv's at the homes of the revelers, to baffle and befuddle the lucky family when once the hangover wears off! 

Now isn't that a nice holiday?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


What else would Z be for? What is a zorilla? For one thing its the answer to the question, "When is a skunk not a skunk?" Zorillas - otherwise Ictonyx striatus with emphasis on "Ic" look a bit like skunks and smell even worse. In fact they are more closely related to wolverines than they are to our familiar little North American  stinkers.

Like most weasels the zorilla is far from affable and cannot be tamed like the common skunk. They are essentially fearless and have been known to drive lions from their kills with their hideous scent - which, again like skunks - they can spray for some distance, and with depressing accuracy.

They inhabit most of sub-Saharan Africa, and are welcome to remain there.

But "Z" is also the letter at the opposite end of the alphabet from "A", and writing about it marks the end of the A to Z Blog Challenge, a pleasant little exercise in self discipline which was enormously enjoyable, entertaining and educational as well.

It also presents a license to grind out otherwise inexcusable doggerel, an opportunity never to be missed.

I'm glad I took the challenge, it was fun, and new friends were made along the way. Can't wait until the next one, which I've heard will feature significant monetary rewards.

Until then, "A" is for Adios!

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Saturday, April 28, 2012


And for this we blame that most overated of authors, that hackiest of hacks, the tedious H.P. Lovecraft. Seldom has anyone written so much and said so little, about things in which no one is interested. Except, the loser seems to have an ardent following. Go figga.

One can, if one so desires, read all of Mr. Outermost Dark's works right HERE:

At anyrate, Ol' Yoggy as he's known in literary circles is one of H.P.'s typical creations, unseen (for the very sight of it would drive one mad) and basically uninterested in interactions involving lowly humans. He is an Elder God, like most of H.P.s Slimeys, although just who or what ever worshipped it remains unknown.

We don't like Yog-Sothoth, nor his creator H.P.L. We also don't know what actually befell the late H.P., but one would hope that perhaps Yoggy ate him.

Y not?

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Friday, April 27, 2012


Yes it is! Not an insidious weapon developed by our enemies abroad to bring us to our knees, nor a wondrous accomplishment of our own dauntless weaponeers allowing us to spread Truth, Justice, the American Way, Mom, Apple Pie and Beanie Weenie all across the benighted globe and parts of nearby space.

No! It's the devastating move involving the letter "X" that proves so lethal and annoying to our opponents in Scrabble and Words with Friends.

Look for a double letter, or better a triple letter or triple word space on the board that is vacant, and adjacent to another word so that you can double dip on the "X" and have it count 4 times (double space) or 6 times (triple space)! this humble example is a mere double letter tile, really more of an X grenade than a bomb, but the X alone is still worth 32 points.

There are so many simple words to help you along, ex, ox, ax, xi and xu, axe, fox, fix, max, and the ever popular sex!

Can you make more points with the J, Z and Q bombs? Of course, but "X" is so much easier to work with.

And anyway, X can't be for Z-bomb!

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Thursday, April 26, 2012


A Wendigo, in the tradition of the Algonquian Indian peoples is a spirit of pure, insatiable hunger, closely associated with northern winters and biting cold as well as famine. The Wendigo is cannibalistic by nature and can possess human beings, leading them to kill and consume others of their kind. It is not a warm and fuzzy spirit at all.

The Wendigo can never be satisfied. Basil Johnson, a historian and lore gatherer of the Ojibwe people describes Wendi as follows:

"At the same time, Wendigos were embodiments of gluttony, greed, and excess: never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they were constantly searching for new victims. In some traditions, humans who became overpowered by greed could turn into Wendigos."

Most compelling in my view, is the following: 

"Among the Ojibwe, Eastern Cree, Westmain Swampy Cree, Naskapi, and Innu, Wendigos were said to be giants, many times larger than human beings (a characteristic absent from the Wendigo myth in the other Algonquian cultures). Whenever a Wendigo ate another person, it would grow in proportion to the meal it had just eaten, so that it could never be full. Wendigos were therefore simultaneously constantly gorging themselves and emaciated from starvation."

It is therefore obvious that Wendigo's are now running the Federal Government of the United States. Explains a lot, does it not?

Algernon Blackwood's 1910 classic, "The Wendigo" can be read in its entirety, HERE:

Wendigo is also typical of the sort of abbreviated speech that develops over time between people who know each other well. Thus:

Taterhead: "Eddy left for California, did you hear?"

Lucille: "No I didn't. Wendigo?"

I think that's more than enough W for one day, don't you?

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



Like for instance, "Viper". The viper is generally a large, fat, overly venomous snake - thus resembling a U.S. Senator to a certain extent - represented in the USA by the water moccasin or cottonmouth, rattlesnakes in their many and various incarnations, the copperhead and an occasional and highly dangerous fer-de-lance that has strayed north from south of the border.

Farm Girl's Aunt Agnes warned of the latter in her mesmerizing couplet :

"Beware, beware, the Fer-de-lance,
and never let one in your pants!"

Although one suspects that Aggie was referencing Raul Fer-de-lance, with whom she attended Lamont Cranston Regional High around the time of the Korean War.

Sound advice, in any event.


V could also be for Vercingetorix, who, at the battle of Alesia in September of 52 BC managed to get himself and a Gaulish army of 80,000 soldiers penned into the city of Alesia by Julius Caesar with 60,000.

Caesar was in turn surrounded by either 100,000 or 250,000 additional Gauls depending on sources giving a disparity of anywhere from 3 to 1 to 5.5 to 1, advantage to the V man. 

He still managed to lose this one. 

Hard to figure exactly why he has a statue.


V is definitely for Vida Guerra. The geometry lesson we can learn from Ms. G. is that straight lines are definitely overated.

Vida deserves a statue more than does Vercingetorix, in my view.   


"V" is also obviously for "Violets in Bloom", the fun serial novel by Glory Lennon that features all sorts of hijinx on a weekly basis, including a smattering of ghostly presences. If you haven't had the pleasure just follow the link! But you will notice more than one link, because Glory is a multifaceted author. Don't fail to check out the award-winning gardening blog, "Glory's Garden" and all the rest, and to book mark them as well, you will want to return! 

Monday, April 23, 2012


Remember the parental cries of outraged consternation when Bad Uncle Eddie brought over that unicycle for your birthday?

I know you remember all the fun you and your friends had riding on them.

I know you will never forget the poignancy of that bottomless pothole. But hey, the choir needed a male soprano anyway.

Today, there are motorized unicycles,

unicycles built for two,

and there are just frickin' wierd unicycles!

There are stunts that should never be attempted on a unicycle, not even once.

And stunts which, for a number of reasons, can never be attempted twice!

So what if you're 68 and gouty! Age is just a number after all! Go buy that unicycle you always wanted today!

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Saturday, April 21, 2012


S is for still waters. They may or may not run deep but there is no telling what might lay just beneath the surface. Moby Bass? Mighty Joe Muskie? A canoe full of crappie? A misty morning on a glass-surfaced lake holds promise of a great many things. Most of all, of a memorable morning outing.

S is for still cute. What is cuter that a pair of adorable kittens? Not too much, especially when they are tiny lynx kitties. (With very big feet!)
S is for still silly. Nearly as cute as tiny lynx kitties there is still no rational explanation for Pineapple Girl. Why is she wandering around bearing a Hawaiian fruit and a silly grin?

It is still a mystery.We may never know.

S is for Uncle Pete's still. I never knew Uncle Pete, he moved on to the great speakeasy in the sky before I was born. But I know he spent the prohibition years protecting his fellow Americans from the foolishness of their own government by keeping a reasonably whiskey like product always close at hand.

We speak of him with reverence, still.

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:


The tarpon! The tarpon! Most athletic of catches!
With aerial skills that no other fish matches!
He soars through the air so agile, so easily,
Like that daring young man on his flying trapezily!

He's big and he's bad! He is silvery of scale,
He'll dive for the bottom when other ploys fail.
And just when you think that he's lashed to an anchor,
He'll flash through the sky like a KC-5 tanker!

The tarpon! The tarpon! A marvelous fish!
Too ginormous to serve on a platter or dish!
Too humongous for fry pan or microwave oven!
He won't fit in the broiler, it's no use to shove him!

If you've beaten a tarpon, and subdued his great strength,
It's best just to weigh him and measure his length,
Perhaps take his picture, and cackle with glee,
And toss that fine fishy straight back in the sea.

To invite him as dinner, as we've seen, is a waste,
It's not just his size, it's a matter of taste.
Hand dig if you will a huge barbecue pit;
You have wasted your labors, tarpon taste just like shit.

©2012 Mac Pike All Rights Reserved

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:


Friday, April 20, 2012


Colt, Winchester, Remington. The names are synonymous with the birth of the nation and with the taming of the old West in particular. Remington Arms, however got its start in the old East, in Ilion New York, to be precise, in 1816.

Eliphalet Remington (really, you can't make a name like that up) was the son of a blacksmith and a blacksmith himself. He decided to build his own rifle, a not uncommon practice in those days and when he took a second place prize at a regional shooting match with it he received so many orders that he overnight became a firearms manufacturer.

Remington Arms became involved in mass conversions of flintlock rifles and muskets to percussion cap systems, and also designed and manufactured some unusual products of their own, like the 4 barrel model 1861 .32 derringer shown above. The "New Model" Army 

.44 was a reliable handgun in it's day, and this cap and ball repeater remains a much sought after collectors item on the modern market.

Remington is probably most famous for their sportsman's rifles and shotguns; the model 870 pump action shotgun at the top of the page in many, many variants including tactical is the most widely produced shotgun in history, and with nearly 5 decades behind it, is still going strong. The model 700 sporting rifle is equally well known and sought after.

Available in civilian, police and military versions the 700 has been a fixture on the world arms scene since 1962 and shows no signs of slowing down. It is available in an enormous variety of center fire cartridges ranging from the petite .17 caliber to the elephant crushing .458 magnum.

There are a number of interesting facts about Remington Arms. It has the distinction of being the oldest company in the United States - since 1816 - to manufacture its original product. It is the only US company to manufacture both its firearms and ammunition domestically. It is the worlds largest distributor of civilian rifles and shotguns, and when it went into the typewriter business in 1878 it spawned the company that would eventually become Remington Rand.

Remington Arms, a part of the American scene for 196 years, and what "R" is for today!

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Qat! Yes we all know what it is! A Middle Eastern plant with alkaloids galore in its young and tender leaves, much esteemed for its narcotic properties. This lends it both social and economic importance in many, many corners of the globe.

Some countries attempt to control and regulate qat.

But innevitably qat gets out of the bag.

When that happens good friends frequently gather to chew the qat.

But this is not really why qat is important.

Qat becomes of premium importance when you have to get rid of a "Q" in a hurry, and there is no "U" available!

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Disambiguation: If you were looking for information about the historical period following the brief reign of the Carolingian usurper, Osuchus, who ruled for 18 days in 743 before being bloodily de-throned by Charles the Phillips Head Screwdriver, oldest son of Charles the Hammer, click THIS.

We are referring to Postosuchus the nightmare from the late Triassic, some 220 million years ago.

Postosuchus was an ugly looking customer; on all fours it looked a bit like a really nasty crocodile but on four long legs, standing and running upright like a dog or cat, very unusual for a reptile. It's rear legs were also about 35% longer than the front, so most scientists believe it reared back and did a T-rex imitation from time to time, probably to amuse the kids. Of course, T-rex, had he been present would have had Post-O for lunch, being many times its size.

Postosuchus was neither dinosaur nor crocodile, but an archosaur of the Rauisuchian line which essentially means that it was a proto-dinosaur of the same lineage that spawned crocodiles, birds and dinosaurs.

15' long, 6.5 tall on all fours and significantly taller in bi-ped mode, Posty averaged about 700 lbs. A really big one might go 20' and tip the scales a 1000 lbs.

Postosuchus was a lot like today's Federal Government, rapaciously consuming everything it could get its teeth into. One notorious specimen was found with no less than three medium sized contemporary critters in its gut, leading one to suspect it died of indigestion.

Had there been Tums 200 million years ago, Postosuchus might be with us today. Of course, cryptozoologists don't rule out the survival of anything so just be careful when you answer the door bell, and count the number of rings. (The postosuchus always rings twice.)

If you want to know more about this singularly unattractive creature, there are two mildly relevant articles HERE and HERE.

The A to Z Bloggery Challenge: