2012 in review

•December 30, 2012 • 1 Comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shout Out to a Man Of His Word–Moldman88

•December 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Wanted to give a shout out to an ebay merchant who went way beyond good customer service–over a year ago, I purchased a personalized license plate frame which I was informed was a prototype, and which the seller offered to replace once he got stock in. I told him I was happy with the prototype, but he surprised me about a week ago by sending 2 of the finished design!


In appreciation, I said I would give him credit publicly. Therefore, I wish to thank ebay merchant Moldman88 for remembering me and for proving that good customer service is NOT dead, and that we should all remember to shop with the independent merchants instead of putting our dollars in the pockets of big corporations who dont care about us as people.

Folks who want to visit his ebay store can go here:


Brushes with the Paranormal-Ghosts part 5

•October 26, 2012 • 2 Comments

With this post I am widening my series to include a narrative by someone I only just recently became connected with, but whose story is important enough to bear repeating.  About 2 months ago, I happened to be watching the SYFY channel’s Paranormal Witness program.  I had no idea that by the end of the show I’d be so stunned by the revelations that I would actively seek out the woman who was sharing her story–but that is what happened.

Before I delve into the topic, I just want to send a little gratitude to my son, who positively HATES it when I watch all my spooky ghost shows, but ends up watching them with me (mostly because I have the remote LOL!)

Ok, now for the specifics.  The episode in question, The Apartment, aired 9/12/12 @ 10pm.  In content, it was much like other stories of ghost activity: moved objects, unexplained activity, brief sightings etc, but this story had an added twist:  serial nightmares.  And, it was local.  For me, that was the clincher.  Below is the local newspaper account  of the facts:

Ten years ago, Jodi Foster hopped on a train with her 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, and made her way from rural Montana to Chico. She had fond memories of this town, where she’d spent a summer in 1997 caring for her grandmother. With the help of a few friends, she found a nice, two-bedroom apartment on Parmac Road and moved their modest belongings with hopes of creating a home.

But within mere hours of being in the new apartment, Foster got an uneasy feeling. It was as if someone was watching her, she said. Unable to put her finger on what was wrong, she pushed the feelings aside, reassuring herself that her cute, clean apartment was just fine.

Something lingered, though, and before long she started having dreams, vivid accounts of strange events and places she’d never been.

The article goes on to detail the series of dreams that Jodi had, all revolving around a young woman who was abducted and tortured by a couple until finally the young woman is murdered.   One odd aspect about the young woman was her silence–she spoke instead through her eyes.  In one of the most vivid dreams, Jodi sees the actual murder, and the woman mouths the words ‘help me.’  The paranormal activity isnt confined to dreams either:  objects were continually being moved, and at one point heaped in a pile on the bed, with Jodi’s daughter’s stuffed Ernie doll repeating “I feel great” in rapid succession.  This proves to be the last straw and Jodi complains to the Apartment manager who agrees to relocate Jodi to a different complex in exchange for not speaking about the haunting.  Jodi agrees and moves across town, gets a new job, and becomes involved in a relationship.

At first, Jodi does not realize that the people and events she is being shown are real, but after researching stories of abduction in the local library, Jodi learned the name of the young woman (Marie Spannake) and her address  at the time of her abduction–the very same apartment that Jodi had rented!   A picture in the article confirmed this was the same woman who appeared to Jodi in her dreams, and whose body was never found.  Armed with a name,  a face, and some additional details from recent dreams, Jodi contacts a local crime journalist who relates details of a similar kidnapping in a nearby town.  The victim in that crime was kept prisoner for several years before managing to break free.    Her captors were arrested, and the wife (Janice) agreed to testify against her husband in exchange for immunity.  During her testimony, the wife mentioned that she and her husband had abducted another woman the previous year–Marie Spannake.

Jodi got in touch with local police and gave them every detail she could think of, including what she believed to be geographic coordinates of the location where Marie’s body was buried.  Because the case was still considered open, they could not confirm anything.    Jodi then contacted an investigative reporter who was able to get a copy of Janice’s interrogation.  One small detail explained why Marie didnt speak–her vocal chords were severed.

Unfortunately, even armed with the information Jodi supplied, local police were unable to locate Marie’s body and the case remains unsolved.   Janice has since begun a career as a therapist, and works for a nearby County.  As a result of her testimony, Janice’s husband was convicted and is currently serving time in prison.  He is due to be released for parole shortly.   Jodi herself has seen her life transformed.   Journals she kept detailing her dreams were eventually compiled and edited into a book Forgotten Burial-A restless spirit’s plea for justice and can be ordered HERE.

Jodi also has a blog with additional videos, articles and other information.  (link:  http://hauntedhousejodifoster.blogspot.com/)

I guess it goes without saying (but Im saying it anyway!) that if you, or anyone you know may have info that may be of use in this ongoing investigation, please contact Chico Police.  They can be reached the following ways:

If you would like to report a crime or activity, please call (530) 895 – 4911, use our Online Crime Report Form, or download our printable Crime Report Form for mailing or drop off at Chico P.D.

Marie Spannake deserves to rest in peace, but more than that, she deserves justice.    With that I think I’ll close with my usual


They got a name for that too: Earworms.

•May 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Really?  Earworms?

No, I’m not talking about some horrific Star Trek torture (although it has been used on the original series),  I’m talking about the phenomenon where a song gets stuck in your head and wont go away.  The term ‘earworm’ comes from the German word ‘ohrwurm,’ and refers to the insidious path of travel from ear to brain.

If that has happened to you, Good News!  You’re not alone!  In fact according to a 2003 study done at the University of Cincinnati by James Kellaris, 98% of us have experienced the phenomenon at some point in our lives.  The study also said that persons with compulsive tendencies and persons who consider music important in their lives are more likely to be affected.  Another study done in 2010 by C. Phillip Beaman and Tim Williams from Reading University found that 9 out of 10 experienced the phenomenon for an hour or longer, and that the songs that tended to get ‘stuck’ depended more upon the individual’s connection to the song, rather than any inherent quality of the song itself–which would account for the wide diversity between genres of songs stuck in people’s heads.  According to Kellaris, songs with lyrics tend to get stuck approximately 74% of the time, followed by commercial jingles at 15%, and tunes without lyrics bringing up the rear at 11%.  Kellaris noted that the phenomenon is most irritating to musicians and women.  The participants of Kellaris’ study identified these Top 10 offenders:

  1. Other. Everyone has his or her own worst earworm.
  2. Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs” jingle.
  3. “Who Let the Dogs Out”
  4. “We Will Rock You”
  5. Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle (“Gimme a Break …”)
  6. “Mission Impossible” theme
  7. “YMCA”
  8. “Whoomp, There It Is”
  9. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
  10. “It’s a Small World After All”

Interesting tidbit:  famous authors Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe suffered from earworms and wrote about them.  Mark Twain wrote “A Literary Nightmare” about a jingle you can only get rid of by transferring it to another person, and Edgar Allen Poe mentioned the malady in his work “The Imp of the Perverse.”  Of course they aren’t the only famous people to suffer from earworms, but they were the most noteworthy names I came across in researching this blogpost.

So, we all have earworms.  What to do?

There is no guaranteed cure, but suggestions include:

  1. Listen to a different song
  2. Get your mind occupied with something else
  3. Pass it on to a friend (my personal favorite!)

Unfortunately, none of those techniques work with me.  As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, my brain seems to think I need an inner soundtrack to accompany me 24/7.  Well, not when Im actually sleeping, but jolly well up until that point!  The songs change (thank goodness) but its quite normal for me to have the same song stuck in my head for lengthy time frames.  A week or two is fairly common for me, but I have been known to have been obsessed with a certain group for YEARS.  Perhaps my brain is used to a constantly playing inner soundtrack…I dunno.  I am not currently glued to my stereo, nor have I ever really been.  Most of my audible musical contact is during commute to and from work.  But whether I actually physically hear a song or not, it doesn’t take much for a song to take root in my head and stay there until further notice.  For example, a friend posted random song lyrics on his news feed, apparently hoping to see if he could stump anyone as to what song it came from.  I recognized the song right away and posted random lyrics of my own and BAMMO!  I now hear Tommy TuTone’s “867-5309” in my head.  Today is day 3.  Because I am obsessive/compulsive, I went immediatly to YouTube and got the audio track so I could PHYSICALLY hear it.  The sad truth is, my brain will have to get tired of that song before it goes away.  And knowing myself as I do…..I may be hearing this for a long time to come.  Personally, I kind of like it.  Its the folks around me who are driven crazy!

Speaking of crazy, check this out:

Fun links:

  1. http://earwurm.com/song-in-my-head/
  2. http://earwormery.com/ (fill out questionnaire about your earworms!)
  3. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/11/11/vote-for-the-most-annoying-earworm-poll/     (vote for most annoying earworm from the list)

How about you?  What earworms have taken up residence in your brain lately?





Leprechauns, begorrah!

•March 16, 2012 • 1 Comment


In honor of St. Patrick’s day I thought I’d bring back an old friend of mine, and he just informed me he brought along a few of his friends as well.  Im speaking of course about my favorite Leprechaun

Underpants O’ Brien.

Ive always been fascinated by Leprechauns, in all their incarnations.  They’ve been portrayed as pranksters,

gold hoarders,

and dispensers of luck

Perhaps they are the creators of Green Beer, or Green Milkshakes


or even Green Eggs and Ham, who knows ??

I  will dress for the Occasion in True Irish Fashion


But NOBODY can touch THIS GUY!!!



2011 in review

•December 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


•November 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The GOP have successfully managed to prevent President Obama from enacting any part (so far) of his ambitious $447 Billion jobs bill.  The most recent blockage shot down a bill that would have allocated $60Billion to fund improvements to infrastructure–highway, rail, transit, and aviation projects–all badly needed, and all would have represented REAL jobs, in construction, planning, implementation, etc.   According to U.S. Department of Transportation estimates, this bill alone would have created roughly 800,000 jobs.  Take a look at that number again.  800,000 Jobs.  That would have been a HUGE dent in the unemployment ranks.  Moreover, it was fully paid for — not a penny would have been added to the deficit — with a 0.7% surtax on millionaires and billionaires, representing just 0.2% of the population.

As Steve Benen so aptly stated in Washington Monthly:

The contrast between the two parties’ approaches couldn’t be more obvious. Dems offered a real policy, including provisions that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and which polls show the American mainstream backing enthusiastically. Republicans offered a joke.

One party seems to take the jobs crisis seriously, and any media report that says otherwise — be on the lookout for pieces saying the Senate defeated “two jobs bills” today, as if they were roughly equivalent — is misleading the public.

My local paper has several yokels who crowed about the defeat of the Obama Jobs Act, and defended their ire by saying that the GOP had several languishing jobs bills, and where was the outrage over the “forgotten 15?”  I, being the research nut that I am, promptly looked them up and almost fell out of my chair at what passes for “jobs bills” among the GOP lawmakers.  I’ll include my reply to them in its entirety:

oh REALLY? the forgotten 15 are “jobs” bills??? They look more like assists to special interest groups to me:
1) Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act–billed as a help to farmers and small business, who REALLY benefits from this? Industries who CREATE pesticides, like MONSANTO, DU PONT, BAYER, DOW…and the LARGER Agricultural conglomerates like CON AGRA, ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND, etc..(certainly NOT the small farmer or small business, and you know WHY? There’s NO MONEY IN IT).

2) Energy Tax Prevention–this would prohibit the Govt from regulating Greenhouse Gases, the same gases that may be contributing to Global Warming! (and by the way, the Global Warming nay sayers got a real KICK IN THE TEETH when a prominent former skeptic announced he is now a believer HOO HAH!) So, again, who is the obvious benefactor here?
Industries that POLLUTE! How does that create JOBS MIKE????

3) Resolution of disapproval re: FCC regulation-allegedly a bill that prevents the Govt from regulating the internet and broadband. Who benefits here??? Why the MEDIA MOGULS of course! AGAIN, I ASK MIKE, HOW DOES THIS HELP CREATE JOBS???

4) 5) 6), & 7) ALL deal with relaxing regulations on offshore drilling. After the Gulf Oil disaster, I am APPALLED that the GOP cant wait to let their cronies in BIG OIL take another crack at ruining entire ecosystems for generations to come!! Again, no real job creation here, certainly not on the scale that Obama tried to do

8 ) Clean Water Cooperative-prevents the Fed from interfering with State water programs once the state meets Fed standards. This begs the question: Why would the Fed Govt interfere with a state program that meets Fed standards? It WOULDNT. It would only interfere if the state FAILED to meet or failed to CONTINUE to meet that standard. Very Shady. Also, I cant see where any jobs are created here.

9) Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement act–allows a Financial Stability Oversight Council to set aside ‘harmful’ Federal regulations. Why does this sound like an attempt to dismantle Consumer Credit protections already enacted? Who would be on the council? I bet the Fox would be guarding the Hen House again, yep. Also, no jobs created here. So sorry Mike.

10) Wants to fast-track the Keystone pipeline. Again with the Big Oil. Also, apparently no regard for environmentally sensitive and unique (not to mention GEOTHERMICALLY UNSTABLE) area. Gee, maybe they’ll tap into the mega caldera and fast track the next global catastrophe too…

11) Protecting jobs from Govt interference–seeks to guarantee private companies the latitude to locate their business in the state offering best opportunities for growth etc. Um, what’s stopping these companies from doing that now? Is this another imminent domain type of sneak attack? (My magic 8-ball sez YES)

12) Transparency in Regulatory Analysis-establishes an interagency committee to evaluate economic impacts of EPA regulations (SEE #2) Another attack on an environmental protection agency…apparently GOP memories dont go as far back as the Dust Bowl or even the Gulf Oil spill…..what a load of HORSE APPLES. NO JOB CREATION HERE, just more GOP smoke and mirrors.

13) Cement Sector Regulatory Relief act-AGAIN an attack on the EPA!!! from the CEMENT SECTOR of all places! Listen, if you are going to be BUILDING things used by people, where lives are at stake if they fail, MORE regulation is a good thing! Sheesh

14) & 15) yet MORE attacks on the EPA!!

And not a single job created that I can see. Mike argument FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

So, on the one hand, you have a plan that would levy a minute tax on the RICHEST 1% to completely fund desperately needed infrastructure improvements, as well as prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police…and on the other hand you have attempts to stifle one of the last remaining Federal Agencies governing excesses of big business (pollution, environmental degredation, etc) coupled with the usual attempts to assist big business make a profit no matter what the true cost.

Well, they may have forgotten this fact, but those who dont learn from History are doomed to repeat it.  The revolution was only a little over 200 years ago, not quite long enough to feel safe from a redux, Im thinking…


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