Archive for the ‘animal problems’ category

“A Mercy” Episode on, “The Terror”

April 23, 2018

When the going gets tough, it’s time to throw a party as a counter to the growing anger, despair, and psychosis growing among the crews of Erebus and Terror, as we are shown in Episode 6 of the series. The party is a wild one, thrown in an enormous tent rigged by the seamen, complete with drinking, hot tub bathing, and men wearing dresses, ahem!  There are seamen wearing animal head masks…yes, 19th century furries!   Rum is even being fed to the brain-dead crewman Private Heather, his skull torn open in an earlier Tuunbaq attack.

Unfortunately, one of their own, Dr. Stanley, has quietly gone mad, and he seals off the tent before dousing it and himself with oil, and igniting both.  Stanley’s arms-spread self-immolation is evocative of a scene from The Thing from Another World, and is perhaps the most horrible thing in the episode, rivaled only by Lady Silence‘s staggering bloody entrance, her tongue self-removed in an attempt to forge a shamanistic bond with the Tuunbaq.  We do see the creature briefly, his face a disquieting mix of ursine and human features.

With their food supply starting to run low and the canned food producing recognized symptoms of lead poisoning, expedition leadership now plans to abandon both their mission and their vessels in a risky trek on foot hundreds of miles south to civilization. The ill-fated party was an effort to boost morale prior to food rationing, climatic suffering, and the further predations of their Tuunbaq adversary, although clearly it had the reverse effect, adding also to the mounting body count.  

With only four episodes left to run, we unlike the poor devils in the Royal Navy know that this will end badly, because as Captain Crozier observed, “The place wants us dead…”


“Haunted Cabin” on”Terror in the Woods

December 11, 2017

 

The Haunted Cabin episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep8) was basically a ghost story, but with a side order of cryptid thrown in.  The story was pleasantly scary and creepy, and I like that!

In deepest Kentucky in the Red River Gorge, a rustic cabin sat in the woods on an abandoned logging road that married couple Bill and Charisse chose as kind of a retirement retreat.  Bill held the fort while Charisse worked hard for the money at a city job about two hours away.  Now Bill was a college grad, not some yahoo, and he put up a security camera outside the cabin.  One night around two to three a.m., said camera picked up a sporadic green mist that seemed to morph in and out.  We, the viewers, were shown the actual footage, and it did look like a floaty mist to me! Alerted by the security camera, Bill went outside and thought that he saw a ghost…

…other creepy things then transpired.  Bill’s TV and Playstation came on twice by themselves!  Now Bill was suitably creeped out by this. I mean, would you want ghosts messin’ with your PlayStation?! They’d stay on it for hours, and leave slime all over the console and controllers, for cripes sake! Bill then did what any sensible person would do, and spent the night in his car.

A week later, Bill’s trusty security camera showed a ball of white light that seemed to come out of the ground and which floated along the area; ghost alert! Viewers were also shown this footage. Bill trucked into town, speaking to and showing locals the footage; not surprisingly, they thought it ghostly.

Now comes the Bigfoot alert; walking outside his cabin in the woods, Bill hit a tree with a branch, and thought that it was answered with other knocks. Bill experienced fear and panic, since ghosts and Bigfoot make for a full paranormal schedule. A friend later visited him, and they found strange footprints with four digits and hooked claws; pictures were taken of this, which viewers of the episode were again shown.

His wife later returned to join Bill, and things went smoothly for a time until they heard howling and barking of a guttural, hellhound nature. They tried to record the commotion, but the sound stopped. Later when watching a ghost show on television, the two decided it would be a kick to casually try and summon a spirit themselves. Be careful what you ask for, because a loud knocking then came to their door, although nothing was there when the door was answered!

So our protagonist again went to the nearest town, showing the locals and woodsmen his latest videos and pics of the strange footprint.  Not surprisingly, they couldn’t explain them but agreed that they were freaky.  It was learned, however, that the cabin Bill and Charisse had bought was built for an ailing daughter who died in the cabin.  The cabin has since continued to be plagued by paranormal activity…spooky!  

Life Imitates Art…Again!

August 25, 2014


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In a memorable 2009 commercial for Sears Optical that we’ve posted about much earlier , a woman in dire need of an eye exam invites a raccoon inside her house, thinking that the raccoon was her cat.  In that commercial, the raccoon happily complies with the woman’s invitation to ‘snuggle with Momma,’ and pads into the house.

Real life encounters with a raccoon inside human habitations have not been so harmonious, however.  In February of 2014, a woman in Hingham, Massachusetts was attacked by a raccoon that entered her house through a door flap that her cat used to get inside the dwelling, biting and cutting the 73-year-old resident .   More recently in Hamden, Connecticut an 88-year-old woman was attacked August 24th by a raccoon she accidentally let into her house and then tried to pet, thinking that the animal was her cat.  The raccoon had followed the woman’s cat into the house, making scratching sounds outside a sliding glass door that the woman had thought emanated from the cat.  Thinking little of the woman’s affections, it bit her on the elbow, hand, forearm, lip, and chin.

The encounter didn’t go well for the raccoon, either. When police were summoned to the residence, it gamely charged two officers, who caught and euthanized the animal.  The outcome could have been vastly different with Rocket Raccoon, however, who could have taken those guys out without breaking a sweat, demonstrating his profound mastery of weaponry in the process! – – Oh, yeah!

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Revenge of the Grassman!

July 28, 2014

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In the two-hour season finale of Mountain Monsters, our heroes (?) battle a pack of Grassmen and nearly run afoul of trigger-happy moonshiners in Perry County, Ohio. Buck gets taken out of action by his quarry, and Wild Bill manages to set his pants on fire! Yes, it’s heart-stopping action and low comedy in S2/Ep14 of this “guilty pleasure” type show…one you may watch, but hate yourself for afterwards!

Anyways, the Ohio Grassman is the biggest of the Bigfoot-clones, standing 8′ to 10′ tall, and weighing in at about 1,000 lbs. He has shaggy reddish-brown hair, and appears to be expanding his habitat, bugging the heck out of area farmers by messing with their stuff and in some cases, causing them to live in fear.

First interviewed by the team was “Legman,” a mechanic who heard loud noises close to his house and captured an audio recording, which in team leader Trapper’s opinion sounded like a dying raccoon’s screams. The first night’s hunt took place near “Moonshine Hollow,” where a Grassman heel print and scat were found. The AIMS team did not call it scat, having colorful terms for many things that are not repeatable in polite company. The team then entered a ruined “shine house” used by area moonshiners to concoct their brew. A suspected abandoned Grassman nest was found in the house, but the moonshiners did not take the intrusion kindly, firing off a warning shot and driving the AIMS team out.

Meanwhile, Willy and “Wild Bill” sought to gather materials for trap construction from the salvage yard of “Wild Bill’s” Uncle LeRoy, who was not at home, his nephew speculating that said uncle may have had to go see his parole officer! The absence did not stop Willy and Wild Bill from claiming a junk van, and fabricating it as a trap by modifications such as putting plate steel over the van windows.

Trapper and the rest of the team interviewed “Bernie and Linda,” who had taken and shared a video of something with considerable height going past their window. Also interviewed was “Patrick,” a land owner who saw a huge, hairy being, and produced a video of the same near their cabin. On the final night’s hunt, the team received a call from a nearby farmer, who claimed that the Grassman was in his hay barn. The team hurried there, and while in the upper barn loft saw a hole in the floor. Willy poked around in that hole with his shotgun barrel, and had the weapon ripped from his hands by something in the lower barn. The team then bumbled around the unfamiliar farm complex, separating at times to better survey things. During this time, team member “Buck” got bowled over and battered by a door violently propelled inward, presumably by the Grassman. You might say that Buck got smoked by the Grassman, who seemed to be on a roll at that point. Buck was evacuated with shoulder injuries and apparent superficial bleeding. Returning to their van trap, the remaining team members found that it had been ripped apart, with all bait removed. – – You go, Grassman! Things had apparently gotten personal for most of the team members at this point, who decided to persevere despite getting their collective backsides kicked.

Falling back and seeking to gain more information, the team the next day interviewed “Erik,” a hunter, who had heard and recorded a sound that the team felt was that of the Yahoo from West Virginia. Most of the team then took the risk of going to see the moonshiners again, who met them with guns but agreed to send the team to a clandestine meeting with one of their number who, talking out of a truck, claimed that there were a pack of Grassmen, and that one was their leader. The moonshiners had apparently placated the Grassmen for some time with fermented corn left out for them, but such tributes were no longer working as the Grassmen were beginning to tear up stills and otherwise intrude on moonshiner territory. The moonshiners agreed to let the AIMS team continue their pursuit of the Grassman so as to be rid of him, but also issued thinly-veiled threats to the team if they overstepped their boundaries; these guys play for keeps, and have itchy trigger fingers.

Back at their camp at night, the team was under siege by Grassmen, and sought to chase them from the area in one of their ATV’s when the vehicle was nearly tipped over by a large rock thrown at it! They beat a hasty but awkward exit from the disabled vehicle, finding themselves encircled by multiple Grassmen, who threw multiple rocks and limbs at them, one of which hit team leader “Trapper” in the head and knocked him to the ground! Warning shots were fired which drove the attacking creatures off.

The next day, Willy and “Wild Bill” set up a “mine field” of leg hold traps buried in the ground, with the field baited by fermented corn left unannounced by the moonshiners. They also had been left a crude note of advice guiding them to a “North Point” where something existed that the Grassmen supposedly didn’t want seen. Going to a barn in that location, something pulled at Trapper’s leg, causing him to loose his balance and fall. Numerous footprints were seen outside in the snow, and Grassman “nests” were seen in the barn. Impacts were heard against the barn walls, and a “mash stash” was found in the barn where the Grassmen had stored it. The AIMS team confiscated the fermented corn, thinking that this would drive the Grassmen in search of it into their leg traps. Driving back to their camps, something thrown again impacted with the ATV, forcing the team into a defensive posture with Willy and Wild Bill going back on foot to the camp to fetch the other vehicle and finding the camp trashed. The team returned in the other ATV to go to the trap area when something yet again impacted with the ATV, that object turning out to be one of the leg hold traps that had been ripped from the ground!

Now this was pretty slick, indicating that the Grassmen had both figured out where and what the concealed traps were, and demonstrating their considerable strength in tearing them from the ground. Repeatedly under attack and thwarted at every turn and with their camp trashed, the AIMS team abandoned their pursuit at that point, but resolved to be back in the future. This looked like an end-of-season “cliffhanger” to me, intended to draw viewers back for yet another season and a potential grudge match with the Grassmen…

Bear in your Buick?

October 28, 2013

05_Flatbed_WEB - JULY– – As do a number of animals, bears continue to acquire skill sets, to learn, and to adapt to human-engineered objects and environments.  For this reason, bears have acquired a degree of know-how and finesse, and are able to do things with greater skill and agility than once was the case.  There once was a time when a a bear would have smashed a jar of peanut butter to get at its contents; now, bears having exposure to the item and a degree of experience with it can actually unscrew the lid!  Bears in some locations have also acquired the ability to get into cars by manipulating door latches.  In the past two weeks, three bears have been trapped in cars in Truckee, California.  The trouble is that once inside a car, the door may close in on the bear, rendering it trapped within the vehicle.  The bear after acquiring the desired food items that prompted its entry into the vehicle then endeavors to get out, with results that aren’t pretty for vehicle interiors, as bears claws are deadly weapons more than capable of trashing a car from within.

When observing a car rocking and bouncing about due to powerful and destructive interior forces, the owner of said vehicle would understandably want to extricate the ursine occupant promptly.  In some cases, police have been summoned to remove unwanted ursines from cars; at times, it’s necessary to smash the car windows to do so.  In other cases, people have allowed bears to escape simply by opening car doors, and remaining out of the way.

As prevention is obviously desirable, the best way to keep bears out of cars is not to keep fragrant foods within them.  Locking the doors is another common-sense precaution…