Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

28 October 2009

Fainting Goats: No Jedi Training Necessary...

If you've seen the trailer for the movie "The Men Who Stare At Goats", you've seen the clip where George Clooney, well, stares at the goat. The helpless critter falls over on its side, legs straight up in the air. I don't know if the scene is supposed to imply that the G-man possesses the video game ninja-like ability to "kill with a thought" or not. Maybe he just has the ability to make fainting goats faint.
Here's what wiki has to say about these weird and fascinating creatures:
A fainting goat is a breed of domestic goat whose muscles freeze for roughly 10 seconds when the goat is startled. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.
Yet another case of truth being stranger than fiction (based on truth!)
If you do a search for "fainting goats" or "myotonic goats" on youtube, you'll find a few videos of fainting goats...fainting.

15 October 2009

What, Me Worry?

Well, folks, this has been a rough couple of weeks...
My dear wife has been suffering from chronic back pain for the past two years. After seeing numerous doctors and specialists, so far she hasn't had any relief. Some days she can't stand to walk, stand, or even sit. And even lying in bed isn't much better. While she hasn't technically lost her job, she's used up all of her leave time. She's seeing a lawyer next week to get the ball rolling on her disability. It hurts me to see her in pain and know there's nothing I can do to help her.
There's no telling when she'll start drawing disability, or how much it will be. More than likely the Big Weird Jeep will have to go. I can manage to get a few more hours at work (but with budget cuts, "time" is getting tight). I probably won't be posting as much, though I'll still check in on the blogs I follow. Between working more and caring for her, I'll be stretched pretty thin.
And I know this may sound horrible or selfish, but I honestly don't think she realizes how hard this is on me. I try to keep a stiff upper lip and all that, and I just don't feel I have any right to complain to her. I know that her pain, depression, stress and fear are worse than mine.
I mean, here we are on the verge of losing everything we've worked for over the years, and I don't mind losing the stuff, hell, I'd give up everything if it meant she could get better, but knowing that even after cutting back or cutting out, she's still going to be hurting unless somehow the docs find something that works. This is all incredibly stressful for both of us, but I keep trying to soldier through when deep down inside I wish I could just just cry, scream, something to work this stress out.
I'd really appreciate any thoughts, prayers, good vibes, positive energy, or whatever you fine folks could send our way. Not for me, but for her.

12 October 2009

The Troup-Heard Corridor and Strange LaGrange

I mentioned that I've been reading "Strange Georgia" by Jim Miles. I've only skimmed through some of it, but there's a great chapter on the "Troup-Heard Corridor", which is an area of great personal interest. I've only found a little about it online, mainly this page from MUFON.
In addition to a lot of factors mentioned in the MUFON reprt, conditions which would make this an ideal spot for covert military ops, I've found a few other little facts in the book that would lead one to wonder if this is also a "window" for paranormal activity.
The geology of the area is quite interesting. The region has deposits of unusual specimens of quartz rock that, when rubbed together, create a soft glow where the surfaces contacted. Could this explain some of the reports of glowing orbs or balls of light? Or, are the UFOs drawn to this as an energy source for some advanced means of propulsion?
There is also a fault line that runs through the area, where the Noth American Plate abuts the African Plate.
The bulk of UFO reports are reported from the city of LaGrange, GA, which, coincidentally, is the largest city that is considered to lie within the THC. (more population=more potential witnesses=more reports). The UFOs reported are of every concievable size and shape. Discs, balls, triangles, cigars, diamonds, and objects flying in seemingly-connected formations. Some are seen moving at humanly impossible speeds, while others are so slow as to be aerodyamically impossible. (one witness was able to slowly stroll along beneath one until he reached the fence and couldn't follow farther).
But, not only is the LaGrange/THC region a UFO hotspot, it also has its share (or more) of other paranormal phenomena. Bigfoot-like creatures, black panthers, giant snakes, alien encounters and abductions, the discovery of a lead tablet engraved with Sumerian Cuneiform, shadow people, and what the author calls "INT"s, for "Dimensional Interterrestrial Beings".
I read in one of Loren or Jerry Coleman's books (I can't locate it right now) that "Grange" "Granger", and "LaGrange" are all names which seem to have a strong relation to Fortean phenomena. (wonder if ZZ Top knew that?) :D

05 October 2009

You're Still Here?!

Okay, so Saturday night I went to see "Zombieland", a comedy about the end of the world caused by zombie infestation. While there, I saw the trailers for "2012", about the end of the world based on the Mayan calendar, and "Legion", in which God gets disgusted with Man again, and sends a bunch of angels to bring about...the end of the world.
Sunday at Walmart, I was digging through the DVD bargain bin, when I found "Day of The Dead", about zombies and...the end of the world. Looking for another movie (to get the sale price deal) I found a double feature, "Panic In the Year Zero", a 1950's movie with Frankie Avalon and Ray Milland, about survivors coping with the aftermath of a nuclear attack and...the end of the world. Also on the disc was the Vincent Price classic "The Last Man On Earth", based on Mattheson's "I Am Legend", about the lone survivor of a plague that brings about...the end of the world. I must say that both TLMOE and "The Omega Man" blow Will Smith's "I Am Legend" out of the proverbial contaminated water.
Anyway, after a weekend of immersion in TEOTWAWKI scenarios (which also included a run to the store for more shotgun shells), it was nice to wake up and see the world is still going 'round.
Even if it is a Monday!

03 October 2009

Weird & Strange "Guidebooks"

I just finished reading "Alabama Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, and Other Offbeat Stuff" and I'm currently reading "Strange Georgia".
Alabama Curiosities contians a few ghost stories (which were covered much better in the classic "Thirteen Alabama Ghosts" by Katherine Tucker Wyndham) but it's also full of information and trivia.
I knew that AL is the home to the only meteorite in the world known to have actually hit a person, but I have never heard of the Wetumptka meteor crater. The meteor crater in Arizona is less than a mile across, the crater left by the explosion of Krakatoa was 2 miles across. The meteor crater in Wetumpka is 4 miles across! It was estimated to have been created 80 million years ago, by an object at least a thousand feet wide (appoximately the size of a college football stadium). "Stars Fell On Alabama", indeed!
I didn't know that the Alabama Blues Brothers (headqurtered about 10 miles from me in the town of Town Creek) hold the distinction of being the only Blues Brothers tribute band in the world who are actually...brothers!
I didn't know that Edgar Cayce spent ten years in Alabama "laying low" and running a photography studio in Selma. He was forced to "blow his cover" when his own son burned his eyes playing with some flash powder in the studio. Unsatisfied with the doctor's diagnosis, Cayce went into a trance and dictated the treatment which ultimately restored his son's sight.
And if you're a history or geology buff, you're probably familiar with the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811, the largest North American earthquake in recorded history, which caused the Mississippi River to run backward and permanently altered the geography of a few states. Did you know that was Alabama's fault? (no pun intended). It seems that a few months earlier, the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh was in Alabama at the Creek Nation town of Tukabachi, trying to recruit the Creek Indians in his uprising against the white man, but the Creeks declined. According to legend, the disqusted Tecumseh told the cheif that when he returned home to Detroit, he would stomp his foot on the ground and "Shake down every house in Tukabachi."
Two months later, during the great quake, Tukabachi was indeed shaken to the ground.
And I wasn't surprised to learn of numerous shrines to Hank Williams and Bear Bryant, but I never knew that Rick Nelson's final song before his death was performed in Guntersville. Eerily, it was a cover of "Rave On", by Buddy Holly.
I'll be posting some more stuff from both these books later on, including alien and UFO sightings, a few monsters, and more bizarre coincidences.