Monday, August 28, 2006

You can't escape it.

In the countryside of Southwestern Ireland, there's a huge nature refuge called Killarney National Park. Amid all of the greenery, there's a lovely set of lakes, and you can take a boat ride from one end to the castle at the other side.

The boatmen provide facts about the scenery, along with some random conversation and Irish humor. During a lull in his presentation, Dermott, the boatman, asked me where I was from. When I told him "just outside New York," he asked where, exactly, adding that he had been to New York.

"Are you familiar with New Jersey?" I asked.

"Oh, yes," he replied.

"How so?" I inquired, figuring he'd tell me that like many Irish, he has family here that he visits often.

That, however, was not meant to be. "When I was in New York City, I was looking for a Sears store," he told me. "I asked around, and they told me to go to a mall in New Jersey."


I travel over 3000 miles, and I still can't escape the "New Jersey, land of the Malls" label.

I guess it could be worse. At least he didn't ask me if I know Tony Soprano. Or what exit I live at.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What is going on in this world when an innocent sheep can't go out without being marked with graffiti like a common subway car?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Some cats take their jobs way too seriously.

Jack is a 10 year old cat who lives in the rural town of West Milford, NJ. He doesn't like people much and generally earns his keep by patrolling his family's yard and that of two neighboring homes.

A few weeks ago, Jack's neighbor was looking outside her back window and saw him on the ground, looking up at a treed bear. According to the Newark Star Ledger, she thought, "aw, look at the kitty staring up at the bear!" Then she noticed the bear was looking nervously down at the 15-pound cat.

The bear finally got up enough courage to inch down the tree and jump down. Jack took chase into the woods and treed the bear once again. The bear was rescued, kind of, when Jack's person called him back to the house. Reportedly, the orange tabby sauntered back home and rubbed against the amazed neighbors who'd stopped by to see what the fuss was about.

By explanation, his mom said, "He doesn't want anybody in his yard."

Just goes to show what you can do with an intimidating stare and some cojones. Jack has no claws.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mystery door ... solved

Interestingly enough, it opened very easily when I turned the knob to the left rather than to the right.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mystery door update

As Shellpile readers will recall, I've got a mysterious door in my garage that leads to who knows where. I've got a lead on a good skeleton key, but in the meantime, I noticed today that there's an industrial-grade electrical juncture-type box near the mystery door. On closer examination, it appears to have been a light switch at one time. The actual switch is no longer there, but the hole for the toggle remains. One would think that a light switch would be placed next to a door that led from inside the building to the garage.

Upon closer scrutiny of the building schematics, however, it appears the door may lead to storage space.

In any case, there's still light shining through the keyhole. Wouldn't it be weird if it led to the Asbury Park Casino?