Archive for ‘Wacky Wednesday and Weirdness’

August 5, 2015

Strange coincidences

by Janie Jones

Yesterday the spud had summer camp at the zoo.  I was finished with work a little early so on my way to pick her up I ran a few errands.  On a lark I stopped at a resale store to see if they might have a dining table chair I could pick up on the ultra cheap.

Background notes:  A few months ago one of my old dining room chairs broke and Leif declared it essentially unfixable.  So all summer when the spud was in town we had just one chair for sitting at the dining room table.  I do have some other chairs in storage that I could utilize, but I really hate them.  I think they are ugly, uncomfortable and bulky.  Strangely enough, in the past, I have had really good luck finding unique antique chairs at garage sales, resale shops and even at the curb on garbage day for a fraction of the price (or free) for what they charge for some of the ugly chairs they sell these days.  Often all they need is a quick wash and a new fabric seat, which I can usually replace in no time at all.

But I digress.

As I’m walking up to the store, lo and behold, I run into a fellow tour guide.   Let’s call him Rick.

“Rick!  What in the world are you doing here?”  I laughingly ask.

“Hey, Janie.  I’m shopping for a chair.”  He says.

“No way.  I’m here looking for a chair, too.  I guess I’ll have to race you for the furniture department.”

We fall to looking at the selection of chairs and I find a two-piece set of chairs that will fit my needs and are well within the poor-college-student budget.  I leave Rick, still butt-testing a few different chairs, to pick up the spud.

Upon arriving at the zoo, I park and get out figuring I’d go inside and use the bathrooms and look at the gift shop while I waited the last few minutes.  As I’m closing the door to the car I look over at the car parked next to me and think, that person looks familiar.  She is getting out of her car.  When she turns to face me, it clicks.

It’s Tiffany.  Yet another tour guide I work with.

“Hi Janie!”

“Hi Tiffany!  This is too funny!  It’s apparently run into tour guides day.  I just saw Rick at the resale shop by the mall.  We were both shopping for chairs.”  I laughed.

“That is too funny.  I’m here to pick up my younger sister.  She’s at zoo camp.”

“And I’m here for my daughter.  She’s in the zoo camp, too.”


What are the chances I’d run into not one but two fellow tour guides on opposite sides of town.  I seldom run into anyone ever.  Now that, my friends, is really what I call a funny coincidence.



July 29, 2015


by Janie Jones

I down loaded photos from my phone.  I have no idea what I was taking a photo of here:

phone photos 015

I *think* it might be a thorn.  Guess I need to start putting notes in my phone about what I’m taking photos of….

July 22, 2015

Can you find the problem with this picture?

by Janie Jones

Cardamom bread

There is no such thing as cardoman.  I looked it up on Google.  I suspect they mean cardamom.  Which is actually what comes up on Google if you google ‘what is cardoman?’  The brain trust at Google apparently knows that the Genpop will spell the name of this spice wrong.  How do they know?  I can’t say, but I guess stupidity is predictable.

I’m trying really hard to comprehend this mistake.  In some regions this particular spice is not very common or well known, I guess, but still, it’s not even supposed to be pronounced cardo-man.  It is pronounced like carda-mom or carde-mum.


July 15, 2015

This just in: razor blades are sharp!

by Janie Jones

Seriously.  I just opened a new package of razor blades and the packaging says:

CAUTION:  Blades are sharp.  Do not touch blades.

Huh.  Who would have thought?

June 10, 2015

Here’s one for Sheri49: Beware! There’s Hydronium in your Starbucks

by Janie Jones

Next time you order your Starbucks, be sure to ask for your brew to be Hydronium free.  If your barista laughs, you know they have a grasp of chemistry.  If they look nervous and embarrassed, then you’ll know they have absolutely no clue.

H3O+ is the Hydronium ion.  Adding an acid to water, by the Bronsted-Lowry definition of acid, adds extra H+ ions and generates H3O+, or Hydronium ions.  But, water is a polar molecule and exists in a state of constant flux between what we know as H2O and it’s parts, H+ and OH-.  So water is always freely and instantaneously changing between states and sometimes you actually have H3O+ even when no extra acid is present.

And that’s your chemistry lesson for the day.


May 13, 2015

It’s all over but the ‘caw’-ing

by Janie Jones

I was feeling a bit down, okay I was feeling totally wretched, upon leaving my physics final, and I had a staff meeting at the tour guide gig to attend.  Not feeling one bit in the mood for a pointless staff meeting after a soul crushing physics final, and not enjoying beer, I stopped for a Frosty and some fries and sat in the car overlooking the big lake crying over my salty-chocolatey num-nums and hoping they would work some magic on my mood.

And then what to my wondering eyes should appear?

gull 003

Yup that there is a sea gull.  Or, as it lives off a lake does that make it a lake gull?  I’m not a zoologist.

What ever it is, it landed on the hood of my car and strutted about while I ate, occasionally tapping on the windshield as if it thought it might snatch a french fry from me.  After the shock wore off of being less than 3 feet from the bird (albeit separated by a sheet of tempered glass) I decided to try and get a snapshot.  Isn’t that what people do now-a-days with these smart phones?

Lo and behold my feathered friend sat still and posed quite nicely for me.

It kept me company the whole while I ate, and, as if it noticed and realized I was done and wasn’t gonna get any, it flew off just moments before I put the key in the ignition to leave.


April 29, 2015

Wacky Wednesday Fun Facts

by Janie Jones

So last week I wrote about Earth Day and the Google quiz which identified you with an animal.  Well, I told the spud about it and she took the quiz too.  Apparently the spud is a mantis shrimp.  Not knowing any more about mantis shrimp than I did pangolins, I Googled it.  Turns out mantis shrimp can be pretty cool.  Thanks to Wikipedia and the info I lifted from there, you too can now see just how cool mantis shrimp are and do so from the comfort of my blog:

Wikipedia says they can range in size, from an average of about 12 inches all the way up to the largest mantis shrimp ever seen which was 18 inches!  There are more than 400 species of mantis shrimp and can range in color from shades of brown to to bright rainbow colors.

While they are apparently pretty common in tropical ocean waters they are not well known, as most species spend the majority of their life tucked away in burrows and holes.

Called “sea locusts” by ancient Assyrians, “prawn killers” in Australia and sometimes referred to as “thumb splitters” – because of the animal’s ability to inflict painful gashes if handled incautiously – mantis shrimps sport powerful claws that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning, or dismemberment.  Mantis shrimp can move super fast when they are hunting or defending themselves and strike with extreme force for such a small creature.  In captivity, some larger species are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike.


Depending on the type of mantis shrimp they often eat other small crustaceans and molluscs such as crabs, snails, or  oysters or fish.

It seems they have very complex eyes too, with very sophisticated vision and the ability to see in ways most other animals don’t.  Their special visual abilities may help them communicate, avoid danger, find food, and judge mating seasons.  It has even been suggested that the mantis shrimp’s eyes can detect cancer and the activity of brain cells!

Holy moly!

Mantis shrimp are long-lived and some species use fluorescent patterns on their bodies for signaling with their own and maybe even other species.

They can learn and remember well, and are able to recognize individual neighbors with whom they frequently interact.

Depending on the species, they may lay eggs and keep them in a burrow, or they can be carried around under the female’s tail until they hatch. Also depending on the species, male and female may come together only to mate, or they may bond in monogamous long-term relationships remaining with the same partner for up to 20 years. They share the same burrow and both sexes often take care of the eggs.  Some female mantis shrimp will lay two clutches of eggs: one that the male tends and one that the female tends. In other species, the female will look after the eggs while the male hunts for both of them.

While most mantis shrimp “walk” or swim like we would expect, one species, Nannosquilla decemspinosa, has been observed wrapping itself into a circular shape and rolling like a wheel.

Find these facts fascinating?  Want to read more?  I recommend checking this link out.  It will give you a whole new respect for the mantis shrimp:

Click here to visit The Oatmeal mantis shrimp cartoon.

I sure had fun looking this stuff up.  I hope you have fun reading about it!