Friday, December 16, 2011

Smiley Pete and the Amazing Dog Poo Lottery

Thought for the day:  Tough girls come from New York. Sweet girls, they're from Georgia. But us Kentucky girls, we have fire and ice in our blood. We can ride horses, be a debutante, throw left hooks, and drink with the boys, all the while making sweet tea, darlin'. And if we have an opinion, you're gonna hear it.   Ashley Judd

Is the grass really blue in Kentucky?
It's on to Kentucky today, where we can admire the lush blue grass growing in the fields, while tapping our toes to the jamming bluegrass music on the radio. The music is definitely bluegrass, but is that grass really blue? Darn it, not really. It's more of an illusion. Bluish-purple buds give a rich blue cast to a field of grass, especially from a distance, but the blades of grass themselves are as green ... as, well ... grass.

Here's an interesting tidbit. During the Civil War, although Kentucky ended up siding with the Union, the state really wanted to remain neutral, and it's no surprise. Both Abraham Lincoln, the president of the Union, and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, were born in ... you guessed it. Kentucky. Less than a hundred miles apart, too. Guess it was kinda tough having to choose between two favorite sons.

And a few more: Fort Knox stores more gold than any other place in the world, but you probably already knew that, right? Okay, how about this? In 1883, Thomas Edison brightened the world by introducing his incandescent light bulb to the world at the Southern Exposition in Louisville ... a place, by the way, once known as the graveyard to the west. Its vast swamps were a veritable cesspool of  insect-borne diseases during pioneer days, so many westward-bound settlers, who planned to pass through the area, succumbed to disease, and subsequently ended their journeys, and their lives, right there in Louisville. One last thing before we look at some pictures. How do you pronounce the capitol of Kentucky? Is it Loo-ee-ville or Loo-iss-ville?

Now, for those pictures:

Kentucky and horses go together, and the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs,  is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. Always held the first Saturday in May, it is one third of the Triple Crown.

Every car fan knows Bowling Green is the birthplace of Chevrolet's muscle car ... the Corvette.

Mammoth Cave is the world's longest cave, and was first promoted in 1816, making it the country's second oldest tourist attraction. (Niagara Falls is number one.)

Cumberland Falls, AKA the Niagara of the South, is the largest falls east of the Rockies and south of Niagara. It is also the only place in the western hemisphere that regularly exhibits a moonbow.

Maker's Mark bourbon distillery
Kentucky produces more than 95% of the world's bourbon. Oddly enough, the state's Bourbon county is dry ... but Christian county is wet. (Likewise, Barren county boasts the most fertile land in the state. Go figure.) Ever hear of Carrie Nation? She's the Kentucky gal who famously fought tobacco, pornography, corsets, and demon rum. (but not bourbon?)

This is one of several plaques to be found throughout Lexington. They commemorate a dog, a "town dog" everyone called Smiley Pete. He was also known as the canine con man, the magnificent moocher, and the panhandling pooch. This friendly mutt made daily rounds through town with a "smile" on his face, finessing his meals, snacks, and plenty of companionship along the way. When he died in 1957, the whole town mourned him. Ergo, the plaques. You've gotta love a town like that.

Okay, time to check out the laws? What oddities are still on the books in Kentucky?

  • Throwing eggs at a public speaker was punishable by a year in prison. (This one was repealed in 1975, so I reckon you can pelt politicians to your heart's desire there now.)
  • One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once. (Anybody else remember seeing all the multi-colored dyed chicks and ducklings in the dime store before Easter every year?)
  • It's illegal to fish with a bow and arrow. (Guess they call this one the crappie law?)
  • All bees entering Kentucky shall be accompanied by certificates of health. (How in the world do they CARRY them?)
  • No females shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway unless escorted by at least two officers of the law, or armed with a club. (Wouldn't you love to know the origins of this law?)
  • Every citizen must take a shower at least once a year. (It's not hard to sniff out the reason behind this one.)
  • By law, anyone who has been drinking is "sober" until he or she "cannot hold onto the ground."  (Can't hold onto the ground??? Now, there's a low standard for ya.)
  • It's illegal for pigeons to fly over the town of Bellevue. (This one here's the poopy law.)
  • In Frankfort, it's illegal to shoot off an officer's tie. (Carry scissors.)
  • In Lexington, you can't carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.
  • In Fort Thomas, it's illegal for dogs to molest cars. (How about the legs of perfectly nice ladies?)
  • In Owensboro, a woman may not buy a hat without her husband's permission. (Houses, okay. Hats, no.)
               [Oh yeah, about the pronunciation of Kentucky's capitol? It's Frank-fort.]

Okay, it's once again time for (ta-DA!) 

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** What a guy! I'm telling ya, this California man really knows how to personalize his endeavors for charity. With his unique hands-on approach, you could say he really puts himself out there and into his work. You see, thirty-six-year-old Trent Arsenault is a one-man DIY sperm clinic. Since 2006, he has most graciously donated his frisky little swimmers to between sixty and seventy-five families, resulting in fourteen children so far, with another four on the way. But alas, FDA officials have ordered him to (um) cease manufacturing. Apparently, his DIY operation doesn't comply with federal regulations and safety precautions, and his bedroom falls short of the high standards set by the government for a donor clinic involved in the transmission of human cells or tissues. (I'm thinking those dirty jockey shorts lying on the floor probably didn't impress the inspector.) But, fear not. This altruistic young man is determined to continue taking matters into his own hands, so he can continue helping low-income people who are struggling with infertility.

***  Six years ago, Italian bookstore Feltrinelli and Italian wine-maker Santa Margherita formed an unlikely alliance to encourage notoriously non-reading Italians to read. They sponsor a contest for amateur writers, and the most recent fruits of their labor will be hitting shelves soon. Three winning short stories will be published into tiny booklets, which will be attached to 700,000 bottles of bestselling wines. Hopefully, Italy's many wine drinkers will now at least read a little something while sipping their favorite beverage.

***  Many dog owners think their hairy four-legged "children" are worth their weight in gold. In Taiwan, it turns out Fido's feces may lead to a veritable pot of gold. In a brilliant campaign to clean the piles of pooch poo from the city, authorities are giving a lottery ticket to anyone who brings in a bag of dog waste. So far, the city has collected 14,000 bags of smelly stuff, but in the end, the winner will come out smelling like a rose ... with a brand new bag of gold ingots worth about two thousand dollars.

So, there ya have it, although I must admit, the truly weirdest news story lately is about a certain politician who shares his name with a lizard leading the polls for the Republican nomination, and the even weirder rumor that if he gets it, he may select another certain somebody with the world's worst comb-over as his running mate. Talk about a swell Christmas present for the dems ...

                                         Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. You had me at the pigeon story and really finished me off with the "DIY sperm clinic!" My Deja Vu story has a similar theme. I don't know who is going to be put away first, though it'll probably be me! Julie

  2. Is Taiwan accepting packets of pooch poo by post?

  3. Hi-ya, Julie. Hmmmm, a deja vu story similar to a DIY sperm clinic? I'll have to check that out right now!

    Cro- Ya made me laugh!

  4. I believe you pronounce the capital of Kentucky "Frankfort." ;)

    (Love these state posts!)

  5. I shall never think of Kentucky the same way again. Thanks for the info, especially the do-it-yourselfer - what an entrapeneur (or however you spell it!).

  6. "hands on" hahahaha! I recently watched a documentary about Carrie Nation and prohibition... and Stephen Fry was testing bourbon in Kentucky the other night on the tele! Fancy that. :)

  7. Being I live in Kentucky I won't cheat and say I knew that. :) Did you also know KY was once the Hemp capitol of the world?

    And if don't hear from me... I have an ice cream cone in my pocket, send money! :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. That is the second time that one of your chosen areas banned ice cream cones in the back pocket. What gives with that and who on earth would ever do that?

  9. Oh, my heck! What an interesting hodge podge of stories. Thanks for sharing.

    That DIY . . .um . . .donator. Smack him.

  10. I would totally love to see that moonbow. I just saw my first snowbow this morning (thanks to the internet).

    Thanks for your words this morning.

  11. Excellent post! I think I just learned more here than I have all the rest of the week!


  12. Linda- You smarty! Betcha didn't even have to peek.

    MG- There's all kinds of do-it-yourselfers in the world, eh?

    Carrie- Fancy that. I was "testing" some bourbon the other night, too.

    Jules- No, I sure didn't. Was it the capitol in growing hemp or in consuming it? HA! (Big difference!) Seriously, I know hemp had some very practical commercial uses in the early days of our country. Wow, since you live there, I hope you've actually seen a moonbow in person. The pictures are gorgeous, so I can imagine how incredible it must be to see in person.

    Delores- I dunno. A selfish kid who'd rather hide it than risk having to share a few licks?

    Donna- Consider him smacked.

    Anne- Me, too. The moonbow pictures look gorgeous. And you're welcome. I meant every word.

    Pearl- Cool. Always glad to broaden someone's mind. (tee hee)

    Thank you all so much for stopping by, and for your terrific comments. Take care.

  13. "cannot hold onto the ground." LMAO! That's the best one ever! Thanks Susan, I needed that!

  14. Yeah, you and Empty Nester are kind of on the same page today. Weird, cuz that's not your typical blog subject. :P

    And that story about the doggie bags is an idea they should employ in my neighborhood. Wow, it gets bad sometimes.

  15. Austan- That one still has me scratching my head.

    LG- I kinda like the doggie bags idea. It could be expanded to picking up generic garbage alongside the roads and in the parks, too. Local governments would probably spend less on the lottery prize than they'd have to pay someone to do a proper cleaning job. Sounds like a win-win all the way around.

  16. So, do you think the altruistic California man gets a tax deduction for his charitable contribution.

  17. Arleen- Frankly, I think he'd have a hard time selling that one to the IRS. (But it'd be fun listening to him TRY!)

  18. Well, good thing about that shower law. LOL

    I so want to go to the Kentucky Derby someday!

  19. Hi, Jennifer. Me, too. And sit in the shade sipping a mint julep like a genuine Southern belle.

    Take care.

  20. I would love to visit Mammoth Cave. As for Fort Knox, the host of the show Decoded claims Fort Knox is empty, 'cause the government gave all the gold to aliens.

    Just sayin'.

    Love the laws, as usual. I wonder how many pigeons they arrest in Bellevue? And I seriously want to know why women in bathing suits need cops or a club to be on the highway.

    One club = two cops??

  21. I would love to tour Kentucky...but until I get there thanks for the virtual visit.

  22. Wow! I learned a lot. I really like the dog plaque. I've never heard Lou-ee-ville pronounced any other way.


  23. Dianne- So, UFOs took away all our gold, huh? No wonder the price of gold has "sky"rocketed. As for the cops or club law, maybe KY men used to be sooooo weak, they'd go berserk at the mere sight of a woman's flesh?As for the 2 cops = 1 club equation, it'd have to be a BIG club ... or puny cops.

    Liza- My pleasure. Take care.

    Lola- Gotcha! You're right about the pronunciation, but the capitol of KY is actually pronounced FRANK-fort. HA!

    I hope you all have a super weekend.

  24. Have not been to Kentucky in years and now want to go back! Love the story about Smiley Pete.:)

  25. That cave looks sweet. I would like to get in there with my camera! Only shower once a year - Sttttiiiiinnnnkkkky! Love the laws. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  26. Oh my...this has been quite a learning. I have been to Kentucky a couple of times ( Louisville and Bowling Green)...I'm glad it was before I got to learn about all these laws.. or I'd be in jail! LOL

    Great post.


  27. I soooooo look forward to these posts. There are some other states which should pass laws about yearly bathing.
    Thanks for taking us on this trip. Please bring back a Corvette for me as a souvenir.

  28. Hi-ya, Liz. I've only passes through KY on the way to somewhere else, but wouldn't mind spending some time there. Especially in Lexington. Anyplace that behaves that way about a dog sounds like my kinda place.

    Tracy- LOVE your new picture! We've been in a number of different caverns before, but never in Mammoth. If you ever go, don't forget to take a sweater.

    Doris- Hello, dear lady. Long time no see. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for stopping by again.

    Barb- I'm soooooo glad. Oh, sure on the Corvette. Any particular year model?