On October 2014

All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken. (Thomas Wolfe)

October, the tenth month, but it was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar – after all, octo- means eight

For we in the northern hemisphere, October is about autumn, but to those south of the equator, they are enjoying the emergence of spring

In leap years, no month starts on the same day of the week as October, but during common years, only January does

October ends the same day of the week as February every year, but only January does in common years

October’s moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon

Flower: Calendula, Birthstone: Opal, and the Zodiac signs: Libra (until October 22) & Scorpio (October 23 and beyond)

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Sometime in October, all the four major professional sports leagues in North America are playing

Slavs call it “yellow month” because of the colors of leaves, but the Anglo-Saxons refer to October as “Winterfylleth” because at winter begins with this full moon … yet the Germanic use “Wein-mond” for wine month

Neil Gaiman wrote a story personifying the month in his collection Fragile Things entitled October in the Chair

Some movies with October in the title: October Sky, Hunt for Red October,
The October Man, First Monday in October, The Hunt for Red October, Mr. October, October Sky, and October

Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill–several thrills? (L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

October is the month to increase awareness for AIDS, Antidepression Death, Blindness, Breast Cancer, Caffeine Addiction Recovery, Domestic Violence, Down Syndrome, Emotional Intelligence, Dyslexia, Eye Injury Prevention, Fair Trade, Global Diversity, Audiology, Chiropractic Health, Critical Illness, Cyber Security, Disabilities Employment, Depression Education, Ergonomics, Liver, Orthodontic Health, Spina Bifida, Substance Abuse, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Work & Family, Rett Syndrome, Workplace Politics, Menopause, and Squirrels

October is the month to celebrate American Cheese, Pharmacists, Apples, Children Magazines, Church Libraries, Class Reunions, Country Music, Eat Better – Eat Together, LGBT History, Free Thought, Books, Bake & Decorate, Arts & Humanity, Medical Libraries, Right Brainers, Spinach Lovers, Cosmetology, Photographers, and Stamp Collecting

October is the month to promote Adopt a Dog, Black Speculative Fiction, Bully Prevention, Bilingual Children, Church Safety & Security, Co-op Awareness, Energy Management for Families, Halloween Safety, Health Literacy, Home Eye Safety, Strategic Planning, Walking to School, Intergenerations, Long-Term Care Planning, Animal Safety & Protection, Crime Prevention, Dental Hygiene, Family Sexuality Education, Kitchen & Baths, Hearing Protection, Gourmet Adventures, Car Care, Tackling Hunger, Window Covering Safety, Organizing Your Medical Info, Self Promotion, Reading Groups, and Toilet Tank Repair

October is the month to appreciate bats, caramel, chili, cookbooks, field trips, popcorn, pork, roller skating, seafood, pizza, sausage, pretzels, desserts, apples, pickled peppers, tomatoes, cookies, and pasta

October is the month to Embrace Positive Attitude, Vegetarians, Family History, Hispanic heritage, German-American heritage, Polish-American heritage, and Italian-American heritage (yea me – Do any of these apply to you?)

October is nature’s funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May. Every green thin loves to die in bright colors. (Henry Ward Beecher)

On Alien Squirrels

With no through streets and a good number of trees, our neighborhood is peaceful. We do not live in the woods as Zannyro does, but we have a AlienSquirrelBySuzanneCompwooded lot. I wouldn’t call our setting a menagerie, but numerous squirrels and birds are active – let alone the nocturnal creatures that roam in our midst without our knowledge.

It was a dark Friday night in the fall as we were returning home from a high school football game. While driving on a less-travelled road, I saw a spinning rhombus-shaped object fly across the road in range of the car’s headlights. Not to appear silly, I did not say anything to my wife.

Five seconds later, the object again crossed our path in the opposite direction. This Time I said something to her, and she verified both events.

We safely arrived home, but still wondered what we saw. Later that week, our midweek weekly community paper reported other people seeing a similar object … but the story doesn’t stop there.

The following spring and summer were odd, as we did not see many squirrels – possibly none. Given the oak trees and the sunflower seeds we supply to our bird feeder, their absence was a conundrum.

In a seemingly unrelated event, after awaking from a night of sleep, my wife discovered a pair of tiny marks on her skin. Being a prolific reader and one who enjoys her share of science fiction, I predictably responded with a nod and an eye roll. Interestingly, the marks appeared several other times, and of course, she proclaimed alien probes.

On a sunny day later that summer, my wife summoned me to the yard to see her discovery … lo and behold my eyes fixated on a severed squirrel head. Not a head left from a mulling by a predator, but one with a very clean cut … and during the squirreless summer to boot!

Squirrels began to reappear. However, during the following summer, after seeing a squirrel carrying a dead or injured squirrel, my wife surmised the squirrel was returning the fellow warrior to the mother ship.

That was 15-20 years ago, and squirrel activity has been normal ever since. My wife has not discovered any more probe markings; we never saw another flying rhombus, another severed head, or any evidence of the mother ship – yet the events of that year remain a mystery.

Perhaps, the strangers migrated to Zannyro’s in northeast Indiana, which isn’t that far away from southwest Ohio. After all, do these feet look normal?

alien squirrel feet (1 of 1)

Special thanks to Zannyro (Suzanne Rogers) for the pics!

On Secret Squirrel

Given I focused this past week on Zannyro’s adventures with ninja squirrel, Secret Squirrel is the obviously honoree for your Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic. I know, he is no-where near infamy as Rocky J Squirrel, thus he fits the week. I also believe that the characters in Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Hour signifies the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Cartoons.

Created by Hanna-Barbera

Debuted on September 12, 1965 in The World of Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel prime-time special on NBC

Originally part of the Atom Ant/Secret Secret Hour

Broadcast until 1968

Served as a satire on James Bond and other popular spy characters of the time

Voiced by Mel Blanc

“Agent Triple Zero reporting for duty sir.”

26 original episodes

Assisted by Morocco Mole (who has a Peter Lorre type voice)

Yellow Pinkie is the most common enemy, but others include Masked Granny and Dr.  Dangit

Today, “secret squirrel” is slang for military projects, undercover police, and U.S. agents (CIA, FBI, ATF)

On Satire Bits: Vol. 20

Given the escalating situation between Zannyro and the Ninja Squirrels, the first half of the week knock me for a loop. However, all seems calm on the flatlands of northeastern Indiana – well, as of this posting. There’s nothing like a bit of satire from The Onion to vault us toward the weekend. Yep – I search The Onion’s archives for past headlines about squirrels. Which is your favorite?

U.S. Renews Contract with Spotted Ground Squirrels through 2015

Group of Calm, Confident Squirrels Stroll through Central Park

Offbeat Squirrel in Park Garnering Cult Following

New TV Show: The Real Squirrels of Orange County

Road-Kill Squirrel Remembered as Frantic, Indecisive

Squirrel Admits Loving Nuts

Flying Squirrels Loves it Every Time

“Only in New York” Says Manhattanite Watching Squirrel

Squirrel Bests Ted Nugent …. (Not from The Onion, but my contribution)

On Ninja Squirrel Training

Breaking News: Ninja Squirrel Training Routine Discovered

For those expecting a mid-week dose of satire, this breaking news forces the satirical headlines to the next post.

Yesterday, the AFA investigative team published a recruitment film used to attract members for the Ninja Squirrel Corps. After a recent mission into dangerous territory, the AFA investigative team successfully taped exercises at the Ninja Squirrel Training Center – which may help prepare Zannyro’s Warrior Princess for prepare for a future battle.

Meanwhile, although the Ninja Squirrel Patrol spotted the AFA investigators, the team safely returned. However, we are unsure how this will affect reporting in the immediate future.