Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tazmanian Devil Syndrome

Do you know anyone with TDS (Tazmanian Devil Syndrome)?

This disorder is characterized by:

  • Voracious appetites for food, power, sex and money

  • Prone to manic outbursts and hyperactivity

  • Poor impulse control

  • Strange cravings for rabbit meat

  • Extreme body gyrations and gesticulations when aggravated

  • Frequent, loud, unintelligible vocalizations

  • Ability to destroy a hotel room in seconds

  • Many Rock Stars, talk show hosts, and politicians suffer from this affliction. A transient form of this condition can often be seen in male teenagers. Contact your local TDS society or support group for more information, and please give generously by sending donations to the TDS National Foundation.

    Seasons Under The Sun is not affiliated with or endorsed by Warner Bros. Inc. Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies characters and all related slogans and indicia are trademarks of Warner Bros., Inc. The materials provided herein are intended solely for the personal use and enjoyment of the general public. The use of such material falls under Fair use provisions.

    Sunday, August 03, 2014

    Led Zeppelin?

    This Band was reviled by many when they debuted. Rolling Stone Magazine panned their first Album. Parents cringed when their teenaged sons blew out the family Stereo with Ramble On.
    No matter, their Disciples knew that genius was lurking behind the wild riffs and soaring Robert Plant vocals. Jimmy Page is the undisputed Champion of Acoustic/Rock guitar, creating techniques that have yet to be equalled.
    Sadly, after a twelve year run up to 1980 or so it was all but over. They lost their beloved ground breaking Drummer John Bonham to Vodka poisoning in 1980, and essentially disbanded, except for a few sporadic performances since.
    Their body of work is still relevant today, and music evolution since the Seventies has revealed the true genius behind their songs. 
    Find and play a few Led Zeppelin tunes. It may open up your own creative soul beyond the music.

    Friday, April 25, 2014

    E-Cigarette Anyone?

    1. a cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.

    "more smokers are turning to electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking"

    Whatever sporadic cigarette smoking that I've tried was done years ago, but when on Vacation, I admit to having the odd craving for a Camel, or some equally repugnant strong cigarette (one reason I should avoid Vegas!). This has led me to consider the whole E-cigarette fad, and whether that would be a good alternative to satisfy the occasional nicotine craving. The main component of these devices is electronically vaporized, liquid nicotine often combined with other chemicals or flavoring elements. Presumably there are fewer toxic chemicals in the vapor as compared to regular cigarettes, but the product is unregulated and has not been rigorously studied in terms of health outcomes. There's no second hand smoke, but second hand vapor may not be harmless either. It's hard to believe that there wouldn't be some adverse effect on the lungs by inhaling concentrated nicotine. Children may be at special risk, as nicotine may slow the growth of the adolescent brain.
    So I suppose it's buyer beware at this point, and avoiding temptation seems like the best option - In Vegas or not.
    Get more information on E-cigarettes at How Stuff Works: 10 facts about e-cigarettes.

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Valentine's Day Lowdown

    We'll start with that fun little city of Valentine, Nebraska. You might want to book a "Sweetheart Package" at the Rosebud Casino Hotel, or visit the Valentine National Wildlife Reserve located 25 miles south of Valentine on Highway 83 to see Beavers and Sandhill Cranes. "The 71,500 acre refuge was established in 1935 to create a sanctuary and breeding area for migratory birds and a variety of wildlife."

    I'm not sure if the founding fathers of Valentine actually named their town after the Patron Saint, but we must give a nod to the man who actually inspired Valentine's Day. Apparently he was a Roman priest under the rule of Emperor Claudius II in the 2nd Century AD. He ignored the ruler's edict not to marry Christian couples, and ended up beheaded. Could that be the origin of the old saying "losing your head to love"?

    Unfortunately Al Capone and his band of hoodlums gave a sinister taint of infamy to February 14th by orchestrating the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. He succeeded in ending "Bugs" Moran's control of the North Side, but the foul deed brought more unwanted attention from the Federal government that ultimately led to his demise.

    Here's a nice idea for a unique gift instead of the usual chocolates, sweets, and flowers. For approximately $145 U.S. you can give your Valentine 2 acres of Brazilian Rain forest. This is sponsored by the World Land Trust, and they'll throw in a box of Green and Black's Fair trade chocolate to boot!

    Don't forget your Valentine this year and remember...

    "The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love."
    ...Henry Miller

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Guest Author Invitation

    Do you have an unpublished article or story kicking around? Perhaps a theme that doesn't quite fit your website? In an effort to encourage fellow authors Seasons Under The Sun would like to publish your story here.

    The story can be on a topic of your choice, and you can include photos too. Of course you'll retain sole copyright to the article, and you're free to publish it on your own site as well. We won't censor any submissions, but will simply publish the first few reviewed stories that we like. This is a standing invitation to submit an article with no deadline. The stories will be published on the day of approval, and will link to your site. Each story will be on the main page as the most recent top post for at least two days, and will be permanently archived at this site as well unless you prefer otherwise. This should be a Win/Win proposition, and may have special appeal for novice bloggers trying to get established, or writers who may not have a website or blog to publish at. We look forward to reading your posts!

    Please send your submissions by e-mail here: Let's hear from you!
    You may also leave your article or story to be reviewed as a comment on this post if you prefer (the comment will remain as part of the post unless you would like it removed once the story has been reviewed).

    Thursday, December 12, 2013

    Domestic Blunders

    Our homes are sanctuaries that protect us from the harsh realities of life, but running a household is a complex undertaking. I'm proof that a supposedly capable person can make domestic gaffs that make Mr. Bean look like a genius. Even the brilliant Albert Einstein could be forgetful around the house, so what hope is there for the rest of us?

    The "take home" lesson? Don't expend all your brain power at work - you need some for household duties too.

    1. Tried to cook pancakes on a George Foreman Grill. You know - the one with the sloped surface.

    2. Used regular liquid soap in an automatic dish washer. Try it if you want to see wet soap suds bubbling out of the dish washer all over your kitchen floor.

    3. Activated the home security system for motion detection prior to a walk, but forgot about the house cat. Came back home to blaring alarms and a terribly traumatized tabby.

    4. Locked myself out of the house on numerous occasions while tending to the yard. Good opportunity to learn meditation skills.

    5. Forgot about a lit candle that was in a flammable, plastic holder (or was this my wife?). The candle holder caught on fire, but fortunately we were able to extinguish it right away.

    6. A ladder slipped out from under me while I was trying to put Christmas lights on the eavestrough (This is a classic). Luckily, I was able to grab a part of the ladder while hanging onto the trough thus averting disaster. This is similar to a ladder scene involving Chevy Chase in the movie Christmas Vacation.

    7. Forgot about some pita bread I was grilling in the oven - yes it caught on fire. The fire remained confined to the oven, but the oven door was permanently charred and discolored. Try explaining that one to the wife.

    8. Tried to get rid of bags of dated pasta by throwing them in the garburator. This created a kind of starch super glue that completely clogged the garburator throughout every orifice (actually my wife did this).

    9. Left a closed spray nozzle attached to a garden hose on in the spring. It burst after a few freeze/thaw cycles dumping thousand of gallons of water into the yard. Coincidentally our sump pump gave out and the basement flooded. Realized the outdoor faucet was still on days and dollars later.

    10. I could describe various scientific theories about human error and why it occurs in different situations, but that isn't the point. All of us can be Dumb, Dumber, or Dumberer at times. I'm sure many readers can relate to their own silly gaffs at home. If you would like to come clean about any of your domestic blunders, then please tell us your story by leaving a comment below.

    Saturday, December 07, 2013

    Gambling and other Myths

    I know someone who ridicules Casino gambling by saying "I've got better things to do with my money". Yet, this same person has bankrupted himself and others through unethical Venture capital schemes. Another eschews the Stock Market as a glorified ponzi scheme, and has invested heavily in Gold as the ultimate protector of wealth. Gold has had a recent record sell off akin to a major stock market crash. The Stock Market has rebounded nicely in recent years thanks to aggressive Federal Reserve policies, but it still hasn't regained a decade of losses. At one time owning a house was as close to a sure bet investment as anything, but we all know what happened in the 2008 financial crisis, and the ensuing melt down in housing prices. All sorts of investment vehicles have been promoted over the years with varying degrees of success. It seems that markets reel from one bubble to the next, with each bubble usually exacerbated by leverage and debt. The famous economist John Galbraith in his book "A brief history of financial euphoria" readily describes the common features and circumstances that have given rise to some famous bubbles including the Tulip Mania of Holland back in the 17th Century. History it seems, has a bad habit of repeating itself.

    What is the answer then to creating and preserving wealth? Well, it still comes down to a Vocation that pays, common sense, diversification, and a bit of luck or good fortune in life. You also have to avoid the scammers and get rich quick schemes along the way. Greed and ignorance will generally get you in trouble, although there are many "legitimate" ways to lose money too, as already mentioned.

    Don't fool yourself, investing is still gambling, although some bets are better and more informed than others. Sometimes a Casino bet has much betters odds than more traditional investments. There's more than a few Companies that have had their stocks drop to zero value - a few of them have been Dow Index companies. Thus investing, speculating and gambling are all part of the same spectrum. Perhaps a successful professional poker player isn't really a gambler, but a seasoned investor. Things are not always what they appear to be based upon their labels. Good Luck and Good Investing.

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    The Secret to Life (Encrypted)

    "Ujh Oje Pa Rx Hwbx Rmqf"

    "Ujh Oje Pa Not Rx Hwbx Rmqf"

    Both encrypted sentences are paradoxical truths.
    If you solve this cryptogram please leave your answer as a comment below!

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Sleep on It

    Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Epidemic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Better Sleep Council can help!

    The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep. --Anonymous

    SLEEP - Those little slices of death, how I loathe them. --Edgar Allen Poe

    Problems always look smaller after a warm meal and a good night's sleep. --Anonymous

    It's a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it. --John Steinbeck

    It's probably unrealistic in our fast paced, competitive lives to expect or demand any fixed amount of sleep hours. I think we should strive for quality of sleep. Try to improve factors such as diet, exercise, bedroom environment etc. that improve sleep efficiency, and avoid things that result in poor sleep quality such as excessive caffiene or alcohol, stress, etc.

    There are some good sleep tips here at

    The Better Sleep Council

    What is your secret for a good nights sleep?

    Saturday, March 09, 2013

    The Pink Haired Goddess

    This photo brings back memories of fun times in Vegas a few years ago. My wife and I were playing around with these crazy looking wigs in a novelty shop - right after doing a tacky wax museum tour. All of that seems like an alternate universe now - gambling too much, comped rooms and shows, arguments with pit bosses, and getting cheated by some black jack dealers. One highlight of those trips was seeing Tiger Woods in 96 playing the Las Vegas Invitational. On one hole, he hit a drive 350 yards that landed just off the fairway, and then expressed his displeasure with the shot by slamming his driver into the tee box turf. That was before all of the majors and millions of dollars, but he's still prone to the odd tantrum now and then. My Vegas visits are less frequent and more pedestrian now, but the curious should see Las Vegas at least once, despite all of the excess, spectacle, and debauchery on display there. You might get some insight into the dark side of human nature - yours and others, and meet a few quirky, but decent characters too. All a part of this whacky journey that we're on. "Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire."

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Donut Mania

    Is it possible that someone could grow up in North America never having tried a donut? Do you know anyone who hasn't eaten a donut?

    I don't, but at the other extreme a man named John Haight ate 29 donuts in just over six minutes back in 1981 to claim the Guinness World Record for donut eating. It makes you wonder if he could have eaten the worlds largest donut. It was an American-style jelly donut made in Utica, New York on January 21, 1993 that weighed 1.7 tons and was 16 feet in diameter - if not the donut, maybe he could have finished the hole or the jelly? Here is a whimsical page with a dozen interesting facts about donuts.

    Donuts are ingrained in North American popular culture with TV characters like Homer Simpson satirizing your typical donut lover. Police are often ridiculed for hanging out at donut shops a lot, but it's probably not a fair rap since they may be the only restaurants open on late night shifts, and of course in a parking lot most people will spot the cruiser. There's a Tim Horton's donut shop across the street from a hospital in our city that is swarmed by health care workers on evening and night shifts. You might predict that many romances between cops and nurses began over the odd jelly sprinkled donut. Legend has it that dunking donuts first caught on when actress Mae Murray accidentally dropped a donut into her coffee while dining at Lindy's Deli on Broadway in New York City.

    How relevant are donuts to the economics of society? It's claimed that in the United States there are over 10 billion donuts made every year - somewhat amazing for a sugary product that has little or no nutritional value. Some economists claim that you can judge the health of the economy by looking at the size of the hole in a donut. The hole is smaller when times are good because more dough is used. Could the shape have some universal appeal as a symbol - a circle - an empty hole - complete - but incomplete all at the same time? It certainly is a numerical symbol as shown by the Donut Abacus, although the donuts are often plastic in that case. In terms of economics, I'd like to see the former Billionaires at Krispy Kreme weigh in here.