Here There Be Sharks

It’s been shark month on Syfy and I love it because I really enjoy inane Syfy movies. Usually the goofier they are, the more I enjoy them and I seek out the ones with the crazy titles figuring they have the best hope of being the cheesiest movies (with bad acting and computer graphics even I might be capable of pulling off).  Of course they had Sharknado 3 – Oh Hell No!, which was disappointingly stupid (and I went into it knowing it would be idiotic, but it was just too much and I couldn’t even finish it), but they also had classics like Zombie Shark (which lived up to its name, trust me), Robot Shark (UFO meets shark, it was great), Sharktopus vs Pteracuda, and the follow-up Sharktopus, both equally dimwitted movies.  Needless to say, I’ve been having a ball with my guilty pleasure t.v. watching.

Of course sharks are a popular “villain” in movies because pretty much everyone is afraid of sharks. And Syfy plays that up by making them even worse – they add tentacles and alien powers and have scientists turn them into mutant monsters that can take huge bites out of the Golden Gate Bridge. It makes for fun movies since Syfy is so completely over the top with it, but sharks themselves are amazing creatures.

I love sharks and I hate sharks. I saw Jaws in a drive-in theater when I was young (I still harbor a grudge against my parents for taking me) and the scene where the head popped out of the sunken boat scared me to death. And of course (with no shark in sight during the scene) it made me afraid of sharks. I still am wary about the ocean but I’m not sure if that’s because of sharks or because I just don’t like the idea of swimming in a huge fish tank. At any rate, as I got older I grew to love sharks. I love the way they look, their history, the whole bit. They are fascinating animals. The only thing I don’t like is when I get suckered into a Discovery Channel t.v. show and see one eating a seal.  But otherwise, I’m good.

If you’ve got a smart phone…or even if you don’t, you can track sharks. Pretty cool, right? My daughter turned me on to this app.  Now I have her giving me updates like Big Ben chiming the time throughout the day.  Where’s Perth today?  Or Ningaloo?  What about Ningaloo!?  For the love of God tell me he has pinged!

The OCEARCH team (OCEARCH.org) has tagged a lot of sharks to track their movements.  When one of the sharks surfaces, the tracker tag “pings,” letting people with this app (Global SharkTracker) know their location.  The app consists of a map of the entire world, with little dots identifying where the tagged sharks are. They offer the same thing on their website.

You can track the sharks by name (from Adelaide, Al and Albert all the way to Wyatt, Yolanda and Zac), by their gender or their stage of life (immature, mature or “undetermined”).

You can see photos of them and see details – their species, length, weight, the day they were tagged and the location where they were tagged…and even more cool, just how many miles they have traveled since they were tagged.  Let me tell you, some of these sharks get around!

Click on the “Where have I been?” button and you’ll be able to see the migratory pattern of each of these sharks.

Sharks be crazy,” to paraphrase Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory.  And they seem to be!  Some are ‘sharks on a mission’ – they go in an absolute straight line to get from point A to B…because they’re all business and no fun. No time for side trips.

Then there are others that meander about in a very small area – they like it close to home and don’t want to venture out into the wild blue.

And then…then there are the nutty ones.  These are my favorites (of course, right!?).  These sharks look like they’re on some kind of a major caffeine trip because they’re just all over the place.  It looks like you gave a pen to a toddler and told them to draw some majorly complicated picture and you come away with this chaotic scribbly mess.

I’ve chosen a few of my favorites to show you the different sharks and different patterns.  So anyway, if you like sharks, like me, or are just interested in sharks, you should check out the app or go to their website (you can see the map and “pings” there too).  I warn you though; it can be quite addictive to see where your faves are spending their time and waiting to see where they’re going to surface next.

Madeline 9 Ft Tiger Shark

Madeline 9 Ft Tiger Shark

 

Mary Lee 16.5 Ft Great White Shark

Mary Lee 16.5 Ft Great White Shark

 

Ningaloo_12Ft Tiger Shark

Ningaloo 12 Ft Tiger Shark

 

Trinity 10 Ft Tiger Shark

Trinity 10 Ft Tiger Shark

I’m that Friend

Not to be vain or anything, but I’m that friend you want around should we ever have a zombie apocalypse or a Purge situation.  Oh, not because I’m great with a crossbow or even a shotgun, but rather because should I ever at some point in time ever have to run for my life, I can guarantee you, I’m not gonna make it. I’d certainly buy you those few extra minutes you might need to make it to safety. So, yeah. You definitely want me on your team.

Why no, no I am not.

WHY NO, NO I AM NOT.

Unwanted Visitors

So I was taking a pleasurable after dinner nap this past evening (because I can be incredibly lazy) when my foray into a psychedelic Austenland was abruptly interrupted by the bays of a thousand hounds of hell. The reason for the frenetic chaos? Two very unwanted visitors were on my front porch and knocking on my door, hoping to have a word.

Admittedly I was already cranky when I opened the door, so when I was greeted by a couple of fresh-faced Jehovah’s Witnesses rather than say an impromptu delivery of Edible Arrangements or boxes of chocolate, I was not nearly as willing to listen to their speech before turning them away as I ordinarily would have been.

Now I have nothing against Jehovah’s Witnesses or any religion normally…what I dislike are unannounced visitors on my doorstep waking me up only to push their wares on me (whether it’s of a religious or Tupperware variety makes no difference to me). I’m not antisocial. I just like peace and quiet and undisturbed naps.

So, anyway — when asked if I had heard the word of Christ,  I preemptively said (with a straight, if grumpy, face, mind), “Why yes I have, but there are unrepentant heathens living in this house. There’s a Norse pagan with a Loki obsession, a Zen Taoist with conflicted morals, and an atheist with questionable judgment.”

I could see they were fighting to understand even as the younger one complimented my tattoos and the older one (apparently having looked through a window) nicely commented on the video game my son was playing at the time. Luckily my daughter was in a back room and not having one of her more weird conversations with a cat, that we could hear anyway, although the reaction to that might’ve been really interesting to see. I did wish them well (see, I AM a nice person) before sending them on their way.

I figure this will either get us blacklisted from their list forever…or else — and this did not occur to me until much, much later — we will be placed on their “special” list of people that they feel need the most attention in order to “save.” Knowing my luck, that’s what will happen.  I’m hoping it’s the former.  If only so I can nap in peace.

If it’s the latter…I’m going to have to seriously look into moats, or remote-controlled tilting sidewalks (with cool slides back to the street)…or something.  Because naps, well they should just be sacrosanct.

 

hounds of hell

HOUNDS OF HELL

 

I NEED ONE OF THESE

I NEED ONE OF THESE

 

Judge Not… Well, You Know the Drill

I’ve really been trying to control how often I use this blog as a soapbox to wag fingers at others (okay, so I haven’t been trying that hard). When I read this article my annoyance meter kicked on and I knew it was time to dust off the old ‘box’. Oh come on, don’t roll your eyes at me! I have a good reason, this time, I swear.

If you can’t open the link, here’s the gist: A mom was carrying her five-year old daughter in a baby carrier on her back. The manager of the store they were in snapped a photo, posted it on Facebook, and used the social media platform to shame the mom for allowing the kid to be in the carrier. The mom found out and all hell broke loose.

As a mom, here’s my perspective. I’ve been to the mall with my kids and guess what? They get tired. Shocking, I know. So what do you do? There are two options: 1) listen to your kid complaining and throwing mini tantrums because they’re in no mood to walk or 2) keep ‘em quiet by hoisting them up. Both options depend on your own sanity level.

Sometimes a parent is in zero mood to hear the tiny rants coming from their precious child. So we’ll gladly carry them, even up to the age of 5 (if we’re strong enough), just to zip those lips. But sometimes a parent has enough patience in the tank to teach the kid a life lesson about bucking up and getting through the tough times. That’s when we can take the crocodile tears and trembling lips and keep the kid putting one foot in front of the other. There is a third option in which no one wins. You throw in the towel, head to the car, and retreat home trying to convince yourself you didn’t really want to go shopping anyway.

I’m saying this and admittedly I’m old school. Those carrier things like the woman in the article had didn’t even exist when I was a mom to toddlers (not that the kid in the photo was a toddler). I just held them in my arm, pressed against my hip. Having one of those carriers would’ve been a godsend. Of course the mom is going to use that handy-dandy carrier when her kid’s not feeling well or simply to shut the kid up. It seems like a no brainer.

The idea that someone else would publicly humiliate a mom for doing something that benefits both her child’s comfort and her own sanity is beyond me. So what if the kid is older? It’s not like she was in Middle School for god’s sake. Now that would’ve been worrisome. So what if it’s not what you would do as a parent (speaking to the store manager and the complainers here)? That kid isn’t yours. So why do you even care?

And did I miss the memo that it’s no longer super creepy to lurk and take photos of other people, especially children, in public and post them online? Is this okay now? I mean, I understand if you’re trying to out someone for stealing or doing something truly nefarious, but carrying your kid on your back? Or (gasp!) breastfeeding in public? You can go viral from that?!? Sadly, apparently so.

All in all, it’s just sad that our society has stooped to these levels. Just because we can do certain things now thanks to the internet and technology doesn’t mean we should. I think this is a morality line people forget or altogether neglect to consider. Or maybe it’s worse than I think. Maybe people nowadays simply just don’t care about that morality line in the first place.

I.O.U.

My mother told me after my “inside joke” post, that if I was going to continue using her as fodder for my blog entries I would have to pay her a fee.  So.  I guess I’m going to have to pay up the next time I see her because I could not resist posting this.  THIS is what torments me so when I go to her house and I see these beautiful tins on her counter top. My grandmother had these tins as did my great-aunt and they all used them in the exact same way. It’s an ongoing familial conspiracy.

I absolutely love these cookies. I’d say they are my favorite. Around Christmas-time  (any time really, but Christmas-time especially) the question would always be: “Are there cookies in there?  Or buttons?” Because it could very well be either. If there were buttons, they’d usually be hidden away in a drawer somewhere only to be brought out if mending were being done.

HOWEVER, if mending were being done at some point in time, the tin could then sit on the counter for weeks at a time before being returned to its dark, faraway corner of the world, never to torment a cookie lover like me. But during its freedom from its dungeon, there it would sit, out in the open, waiting for someone to come along, drooling, craving that buttery sweetness that is a Danish butter cookie.  OR you might actually get Danish butter cookies. You just never know. It’s never the same two times in a row. And it’s enough to drive one mad. Because you just have to look. Just. In. Case. My mother is an evil, evil woman. Don’t let that sweet face fool you. Evil, I tell you.

 cookie tin