Friday, July 11, 2014

Bored Scoutmasters and the Tale of the Wampus

As I have written before, I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for roughly 12 1/2 years.  That's counting the years I was a Cub Scout, Webelo, Boy Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster, and employee at Philmont Scout Ranch.  So when I write about my time with the BSA, I can remember it anywhere from being an eight year old kid to an adult leader.

The BSA like any organization is going to get it's good and bad people, whether they are kids or adults.  Looking back, I know there were a few things I shouldn't have done that made life hell for my Scoutmasters.  And likewise it was paid back to me by a few snot nosed brats that needed a good paddling. 

Believe me, they don't all look like this:

The problem with being a Scoutmaster is that you are either bored to death while the Scouts are off doing their thing, or are inundated by 20 to 30 youths with too much energy.  So, it comes to the point where payback stops being a bitch and starts being a demonic force that will scare the pants off of any camper.  Case in point:  The Wampus. 

Now I live down in Florida and when it comes to the woods it means lots of wild hogs.  I have actually run into a pack of them while out on a trail with the rest of my troop.  They are big scary looking things that have a bad attitude.

I remember being told to take safety precautions around camp.  Always use the buddy system.  Make sure trash is in it's place.  Don't go off the beaten path.  Why?  Because of the wampus.  That's right, it was an animal that was off the wild pig line, but had broader shoulders like a bear, and bear like claws.  It also made a lot of noise, and squealed.  It liked to eat Scouts, so make sure to mind your Scoutmasters. 

Really, before South Park came out with Manbearpig, there was the wampus.

Really, it was a great scare tactic for bored Scoutmasters. 

But here's a fun fact.  What does a wampus sound like?  Well, it sounds a lot like a ghost howler.

I preferred using the metal baked bean cans, but they have a good overall method.  And why not make good use of them?  Those little bastards have driven me to drink before.  And I don't even drink.

But back to the point.  The wampus.  It turns out however we were wrong all along.  I searched google, and found out a few things.

Wampus cat

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The Wampus cat is a creature in American folklore, variously described as some kind of fearsome variation on a cougar.

Oops.  It turns out the tale of the wampus kind of got twisted by the time it got to our ears.  Here's the Wikipedia description:


The wampus cat is often compared to the Ewah of Cherokee mythology, in that it was a woman who disguised herself in the skin of a cougar to spy on the men of the tribe, as they sat around the campfire with their wolf brothers, and told sacred stories on a hunting trip. When the woman was discovered, the tribe's medicine man punished her by transforming her into a half-woman, half-cat, who supposedly still haunts the forests of East Tennessee.[1] In folklore, it can be seen as one of a number of fearsome critters. In some sections of rural East Tennessee, the legend of the Wampus Cat takes on a more sinister tone. It is said that the Wampus Cat is a spirit of death and the earth, and when her cry is heard, it means someone is going to die and be buried within the next three days.

So that's my tale.  The truth is once the kids get to be Boy Scouts it gets to be a little harder to scare them.  However, it's the Cub Scouts, Webelos, and first years Boy Scouts that you can really scare.  I recommend it to bored and angry Scoutmasters.  It's just a heck of a lot of fun.  I'm sure all the campers will find it funny after years of therapy. 

Gay Moth?

Lately, I have been working as a staffer.  Which is a nice way of saying that I do all the crap work.  It mostly comes down to garbage, lots of garbage.  I pick it up, I throw it in the compactor.  I also pick up the garbage that misses the compactor which is a heck of a bad job. 

Anyway, it was while working around a compactor when I had something strange come up to me.  Or more correctly, land on me.  I looked down on my leg, and there it was, a gay moth.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at this:

The stock photo I am using looks a little faded.  The actual one that landed on me was bright.  Let's say it was bright like a gay pride parade bright. 

This was so odd I had to look it up on Google.  It turns out it is a Rosy Maple Moth.  They like maple trees which is weird because maples don't tend to grow this far south.  So I thought it was something spectacular to actually see one, much less have one land on me.

Here's the Wiki page if you want to see more info on it:

Feel the Fury of Fishy Hatred, Part 2

For Part 1, read this:

Well, I am still feeling hated.  And some of that comes from me.  After I moved the fish out to the small tank for the carpet to be laid down, I re-set up the old tank just fine.  All the fish survived the move initially.  However, after the tank started it's cycle, I started to lose some.  Of the five I originally moved, only two have survived.  The dickhead Alpha male, and one of the female blue gouramis. 

So, I just cleaned the tank, and I'm trying to decide what to do.  Do I keep buying gouramis or do I go with another type of fish?  I am heading on vacation, so I have a few weeks to decide what to do. 

I was thinking about some sort of cichlid fish, but they are a bit aggressive for my taste.  I will update in a few weeks when I finally decide.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Feel the Fury of Fishy Hatred

The fish are mad at me.  It's true.  You see, new carpet is being laid down in the house, so their 46 gallon mansion has to be moved.  What does this entail?  The short story, a lot.

But here's the long story.  First I had to set up a temporary tank outside.  I only had an old 10 gallon tank that I kept my pet scorpion "Sunny" in years ago.  So I had to set it up.  Next, came collecting all the fish, which they did not like.  I got them moved into their 10 gallon apartment.  I can understand them being mad.  Going from a 46 gallon mansion into a 10 gallon apartment?  You'd be mad too.

But overall the move is not too bad.  I get to do some serious maintenance on the big fish tank.  I am able to empty all the water, as well as take a razor to the glass to clean it.  I was able to take the main filter apart, and give it a good cleaning.  The main point is that it will look like a mostly new aquarium once it is put back together. 

Now as far as moving the tank around, that was surprisingly easy due to a giant lift jack my Dad put together.  We just put it level with the tank, moved the tank over to it, and shipped it off to the wash room until the new carpet is laid.  The fish tank stand is sitting outside at the moment.  Now both are out of the way for the carpet man. 

But back to the fishys.  They are not happy.  Would you be if you were living like this?

They're like, "What's your problem air breather?"

(Feel the fishy hatred.)
Have you ever seen a fish pucker his lip?
"Not gonna comment.  Nothing to say to you human."

"Why have you done this to me!!!!"

So there you have it.  They have to spend 24 hours in an apartment until the carpet gets put down, and I can reassemble the main tank.  Then, maybe they will start to like me again.

Monday, June 2, 2014


If I ever needed a boxing entrance song, it would be "Rise" by "The Cult."  They have a lot of great songs, but I really dig that one.  For those who are unfamiliar with it, check this out:

You can easily see why I love this song.  But sometimes songs have odd memories attached to them.  And as much as I love this song, it has a strange odd memory that comes to me whenever I hear it.

The year was 2003.  Chad Michael Murray was the hunk of the WB with parts on Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Dawson's Creek.  Here's his IMDB page:

Seriously, the guy could do no wrong.  So the WB decided to reboot the Lone Ranger with a TV movie.  If the movie did well, then they would start a series the next year.  Never heard of it?  Well, check this out:  In a weird bit of TV trivia, The Lone Ranger was the WB's first made for TV movie.

So what's the problem with all this?  Well, it's hard to find clips from the show, but here's the one I can find.  It will show you what happens when you take an old Western, and then add WB teen drama to it.

The truth is, the movie turned out awful.  It was just mind numbing trying to figure out where they were going with it.  The part that I remember about it, and the part that this blog entry is about has to do with a training montage.  That's right, in the movie the Lone Ranger becomes who he is by training with Tonto.  Since they only had so much time in movie to do stuff, they condensed the Lone Ranger's training into a (not kidding) Rocky style montage.

And the music over top of that training montage?  I'm not sure.  The soundtrack isn't listed on the IMDB.  So here I am watching this.  Tonto and the Lone Ranger are running around, riding horses, shooting bows/arrows, and pistols, and just going training montage crazy to some sort of strange rap song.  Here's the montage starting at the 1:30 mark:

Frankly, it's one of those things you don't tend to forget.  The funniest part was that it looked like their outfits were a cross between new Western wear and clothes from, "The Gap."  I just couldn't take it seriously.  And that's probably one reason that it's stuck in my head all these years. 

After some searching it seems I have found a battle scene from the movie that features, "Rise."  Head to the 9:00 minute mark.

And then it continues in this:

Say, how do you like that kick at the 1:07 minute mark?  Yeah, I'd break both my legs if I did that.

So as I sit here years later, I can only think of this terrible Lone Ranger movie every single time I hear "Rise" by "The Cult."  It's kind of weird what the brain will do.  I can only think of Homer Simpson telling his brain to shut up, or he was going to send more alcohol it's way to shut it up.  That's how I feel about my brain every time I hear this song. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Even In His Youth.... He Wanted To Plug In, Part 2

Here is part 1 for those who missed it:

So here's what I have done to this cello/bass now that I have had a chance to work on it.

1.  Fret dress.  It's a Squier, so duh.

2.  I installed the Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups.  I used the Quarter Pounder set.  It sounds awesome.

3.  When I set up the bass I had to really turn the truss rod a few times.  It has never been turned, so I had to really turn it a few times until it started to put pressure on the neck.

4.  I was able to get the individual strings at Guitar Center.  They tuned up just fine with a low amount of string pull.

5.  I decided to make a major change on it.  I decided to move the output jack.  I didn't like that it was on the front of the body next to the controls.  I put it in the usual place for a guitar or bass, on the edge.

Here's the after pictures.

I have the strap and strap locks on order, so that will be fun when they arrive.  So far it's been fun to play.  I am going to have to break out the old orchestra music, and play it on my new cello/bass.  Of course, this means I am going to have to get a bass amp.  That'll be a good post in the future.

I Dream At 110%

I just took a four hour nap, and I feel terrible.  Some would say it's due to bad food or sleep apnea.  However, I think it's another reason I have such a terrible time sleeping.  It's due to my dreams, or rather the intensity of my dreams.  And due to them, I end up fighting in my sleep.  However, let me talk specifically about one of the ones I had during my four hour nap.

And there I was, in a Saloon.

I was all decked out in my best Western wear.  I was feeling pretty good.  You know why?  Steak.  I was eating a great big steak.  It was awesome.  People where hanging around, talking and playing cards.  It was then that I noticed a giant boar outside the double saloon doors.

So what is one to do?  Well, I just grab my pistol off the table, aim in-between the people and the doors, and shoot.  Shoot I did, and down the boar went.

I took my time moseying outside, because why not?  Moseying is what Western guys do.  I get outside only to see I did not shoot a boar, but a panda bear.

Yep, it was one dead panda bear I had killed.  But the owner of the restaurant wasn't mad at me.  In fact, he was extremely happy.  He was so happy that he had gone and skinned the panda bear for me.  The skin was ready to be taken to a taxidermist, and the panda meat was on the grill with sauce on it. 

And that's when things really started to get weird.  But I won't get into that.  This is one glimpse into my dreaming brain.  It's not that much different than my waking brain, except I hold back 90% of my thoughts from my waking brain.