Trees with Eyes, Tube-shaped Eggs, and Packages That I Haven’t Read Carefully

It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase ‘As pretty as an airport’ appear.”    Douglas Adams.

I hate wearing sunglasses.  I have an oddly shaped head or face or something, because they always make me look very strange.  Like a beetle on crack.  I’ve tried every type from teeny-weeny intellectual ones to motorcycle cop “you-can’t-see-my-eyes” styles to the ones with lenses the size of garage doors.  None of them give me that sophisticated Jackie-O look–no matter how many scarves I wear.

And they make my eyes sweat.  Well, not my actual eyes–that would probably land me a spot in some optical medical journal–but the space under my eyes.  All summer I look like Alice Cooper.  I realize that I could invest in some waterproof mascara, but that just opens up a whole new can of worms.

My husband’s glasses fog up a lot.  That must be frustrating.  One minute the world is a crisp vision of loveliness and “pwoff,” it is transformed into a chasm of blurriness (do you like my attempt at Mad Magazineish sound effects?)  Which raises another question?  Do contact lenses ever fog up?  Or worse, if they get cold can they stick to your nice, warm eyeballs? Think of Flick’s tongue and the flagpole in The Christmas Story.  

1)  I have recently discovered that I am an idiot.  Seriously, I am a total numpty-head.  I don’t know how many times I have endured the frustration of pulling out a sheet of Saran wrap, having the entire tube come with it, and struggling to hold on to my sheet of cellophane without allowing it to stick to itself, while I fight to return the roll to the box.  A box with a jagged metal “tearing strip” that usually winds up ripping my flesh during this battle.  It happens to me on a regular basis.  And I always blame the Saran wrap.  Or its equally frustrating cousin, tin foil.

It turns out that I am to blame.  Apparently, the thoughtful manufacturers of these products have gone to the trouble of creating a device to keep these rolls in place.  I’m just too stupid to read the packaging and make this discovery.

If you, too, are a moron–I’m in no position to judge your mental prowess–simply take a glance at the photo to your right.  See the little triangular-ish shape on the side of this (and all other) Reynolds Wrap boxes?  Well, apparently, if you push that puppy in, the roll will stay in place.  Who knew?  Okay, some of the world’s “smarty-panted” people probably knew.  But, surely I can’t be the only one who didn’t know.  Could I?  (Cue sound of crickets).

2)  I love trees.  My favourite is the weeping willow.  They’re great for climbing and their long, draping foliage is perfect for hiding in.  Maples are nice too.  Seriously, a tree that makes pretty colours in the fall AND gives us sweet sap for pouring on our pancakes.  Plus, I’m Canadian.  Maples are sort of our thing.  Check out our flag.  And our pennies.  Although you’ll have to check out the pennies soon since they have been put on the minting chopping block.

I recently discovered, however, that not all trees are pretty or stately or eager to provide us with shade.  Some are downright scary.

This “screaming tree” lives in Hither Hills State Park, NY.  I’m sorry, but if I ran in to this, I’d probably run the other way screaming.  Trees just simply aren’t supposed to look like this.  I am grateful that a very brave photographer managed to take this shot though.  Seriously.  Can you imagine seeing this through a camera lens?  Or taking your eyes off it long enough to take your camera out and turn it on?  I’d be far too worried about what its branches were up to.  Like, are they reaching around to grab me?  I mean look at the mouth!  Trees generally don’t have mouths.  I can only imagine what someone would find if they peered down inside this bark-covered beast.

But, as ugly as the American offering is, the UK has an even more horrific forest dweller.  Not only does it have teeth, but it appears to have actual eyeballs.  Or eye sockets, at the very least.

Does anyone remember the evil trees in H.R. Pufnstuf?  In case you don’t, you can catch them here….

I think I’ll go outside and hug my faceless oak.

3)  I have  simply got to go to Japan.  As you know, this is the land of square watermelons, the girlfriend pillow, and tomato chocolate bars.  And in case those aren’t enough to send you out for airline tickets to Tokyo, I have just found another draw. The Japanese egg roll.

How efficient is this?  Instead of taking the time to boil an egg and set the timer to ensure it’s hard-boiled, you simply take out your tube of egg and hack off a slice or two.  I wonder what type of bird lays cylindrical eggs?

Photo credits:

Reynolds wrap:  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gJCMpC3I-ng/TAkYjt80sXI/AAAAAAAAGxc/-grfoaKwtvg/s320/foil.jpg

Egg tube:  Marci Wittwer Butterfield

Screaming tree:  brothergrimm

UK Tree: David Garnham/Newsteam/Getty Images

Cars from Mars, Giant “Hamsters,” and Aliens in Siberia

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”
“Ask a glass of water!”    Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  

1)  You seemed to enjoy yesterday’s toothbrush question, so here’s another one.  What was the most popular car colour in 2011?  No peeking.  I said “no peeking!” Okay, since you seem determined to cheat, I am going to tell you the answer a little bit later.  First, here’s a chance for you to let your opinions be heard.  Which of the following “weird” cars, do you like the best?

You can vote for your freaky fav by using the “comment” button below.  I’d love to hear your what you have to say.  I’m partial to the Dr. Seuss-ish flower car.   It’s whimsical–plus, it has a baby.

Okay, so here is the answer you’ve been waiting for.  According to the 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report (who knew there even was such a thing), white and silver tied for first place with 22% of the global share.  We humans certainly lack imagination.  Here’s the final tally:

1.    White/White Pearl and Silver – tie, 22 percent
3.    Black/Black Effect – 20 percent
4.    Gray – 13 percent
5.    Red – 7 percent
6.    Blue – 6 percent
7.    Brown/Beige – 5 percent
8.    Green – 2 percent
9.    Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10.   Others – 2 percent

A big cheer for the “others”–the pink, purple, and multi-hued car owners who dare to thumb their noses at the other 98% of the world!

2)  This has always been one of my favourite Internet finds…the caption below this picture says “the thing is, I told her you were a hamster.”  Clever.

So, what is this mutant creature?  A groundhog from Chalk River?  No, this is the world’s largest rodent, the Capybara.  They hail from South America and can weigh up to 150 lbs.  And I thought my eight-pound Guinea Pig was big.

But seriously, I can think of nothing cooler than sitting on the sofa with my big rodent.  I want one.  I think I would name him Herbert.

3) I am a sitcom-addict, as many of you know, but last night between the hours of 9:30 and 10:00, I encountered a comedic void.  I was forced to watch something educational.  Ugh.  At least it involved aliens.  Here is what I learned thanks to Ancient Aliens.  

I don’t know about you, but when I think of “Siberia,” I think of bitter cold and desolation–not exactly a sought after travel destination.  Now, I have another reason for not going there.  The Valley of Death.  The name alone is a pretty convincing “No Trespassing” sign, but some people are stupid.

This 100,000 square km swath of swamp and uprooted trees is home to massive clouds of mosquitoes and something much more sinister–something that has been said to cause blistering sores, intense nausea, fevers, paralyzing headaches, and sudden blindness. Again I must ask, why would anyone go there?  These are the same people that ignore their haunted house when it loudly tells them to “get out.”

The local indigenous peoples, the Yakut, claim that every 6 centuries or so a giant fireball shoots out of the valley into the sky.  Hmm.

In the 1850’s and right up to the 1930’s, various people including travelling merchants, explorers, and geologists, reported finding massive cauldrons in this location.  Many later became ill.  Hmm again.

But here’s where things become complicated.  Remember this is a swamp.  Ivan Mackerle, well-known explorer of all places mystifying, strapped on a powered hang-glider and buzzed his way around the area in question.  What he and his men found were a series of strange-looking rings that definitely did not resemble “natural” occurrences.  So what would you do if you found a bizarre looking annulus in the middle of a marsh–poke it with a stick, of course.  Using a 2-meters long branch, they discovered that something very cauldron-like lurked beneath the water.  And there were several of them.  Yikes.

Then they hit the jackpot.  Literally.  They found a 10 meter cauldron on its side covered in mud.  Their vodka-riddled celebration was cut short as they all became deathly ill–not hangover ill I must add.  And then it snowed on them–lots–even though it was June (and we think we have bad weather).

So what are we to make of these strange big “pots” in the middle of the Russian no-man’s land?  Well, apparently, we are supposed to conclude that these are large alien “missiles” left behind to protect earthlings from less-than-desirable extra-terrestrial types who would seek to conquer and plunder.  Of course!  That makes perfect sense.  Dick Solomon, Alf, and The Great Gazoo are all earth-friendly aliens.  Surely, there must be more who would wish to fend off earth’s foes–the ray-gun-happy Marvin the Martian types way up in the sky.

At 10:00, Seinfeld came on.  And my mind returned to its usual resting state.