Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Henry Earl's 1000th Arrest

Lexington's Henry Earl is in the news again - the man famous for his lengthy arrest record is now celebrating his 1000th arrest. The Associated Press covered the story on their YouTube channel and even gave Unusual Kentucky a brief mention. View it here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lyle Lovett, Horseman

Among the many celebrities lurking around the historic World Equestrian Games taking place in Lexington is Lyle Lovett, who has a nice feature article about him in yesterday's Courier-Journal:

Lovett, 52, raises about a half dozen “babies,” as he calls the foals, a year. They keep some, sell some and “give some away,” he said, laughing. But his love of horses is no joke.

“When I'm not playing music, I'm out in the barn,” he said.

In addition to being on the bill at the closing ceremonies, Lovett co-owns a horse, Smart and Shiney, who competed in the reining team event.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cobb's Haunt

Every year around this time, between the Equinox and Samhain, Sunny Acres Farm hosts a Halloween corn maze called "Cobb's Haunt". Cobb's Haunt has no lights, and no flashlights are allowed. Sounds like my kind of place! But what goes on in the darkness? I shudder to think.

Listen to their radio ad on mp3 here.

Cobb's Haunt welcomes you each Friday and Saturday throughout the month of October. It opens at dusk each night, and the last group goes through at Midnight - and that's just the perfect hour to be there, isn't it?

You'll find the Cobb's Haunt corn maze at 6516 Echo Trail in Jeffersontown.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Jug's Life

One from my JSH Combo music blog:

Some crappy old recordings of Holland's Jug Stompers (my abysmally inept jug band from 1998-1999) are now resurrected for the 21st century via the blessing/curse that is YouTube. You needn't actually listen to them; just know that they exist and that we had a really good time torturing our hippie audiences at Berea College with our slovenly, spontaneous and unrehearsed avant-garde hi-jinks. But if you insist, you may find four of them online so far: "Hello Josephine", "Come Back to your Kentucky", "Naked on the Railroad Tracks", and "Rainstorm Creeps".

And if that doesn't completely kill any curiosity you may have had about this band, you can also read some recollections and reminiscences about those grand productive days here and also here.

("Yeah, but... but... what about the JSH Combo, JSH?", I hear you cry. Well, be warned: our latest relaunch of ourselves is underway, please stand by. "Hold on", as Paul Stanley once said, "the roller coaster is about to begin.")

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pregnant Woman Saves Pets from Burning Building

This week in Independence, KY, an off-duty animal control officer rushed into a burning apartment complex to rescue over thirteen pets - two dogs, six cats, a snake, a bearded dragon lizard, a rabbit, a lovebird, and a tank of fish.

Amy Leslie, who is in her second trimester of pregnancy, is shrugging off those who call her a hero, but I do indeed hope she receives some sort of award or prize or special recognition. (Not since Pee-wee's Big Adventure have I known such bravery and love of animals.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pig Stump

Somewhere in the vicinity of the Oldham County - Henry County border, this pink lipstick-wearing pig was seen in someone's yard, apparently sculpted from a tree trunk.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Killer Pleads "Caffeine Insanity"

This from WXIX-TV: " A Northern Kentucky man accused of strangling his wife is poised to claim excessive caffeine from sodas, energy drinks and diet pills left him so mentally unstable he couldn't have knowingly killed his wife, his lawyer has notified a court."

According to the story, Woody Will Smith, 33, goes to court today for the May 2009 death of Amanda Hornsby-Smith. Woody's attorney, Shannon Sexton, has filed notice with the court of the defense's intent to argue that Mr. Smith was rendered "temporarily insane" because he ingested large quantities of caffeine for several days before he snapped.

Sound idiotic? Of course it does. And yet, it's not impossible that Smith may walk. In 2009, a man ran down two WSU students in his car, pleaded insanity induced by having consumed two cups of Starbucks coffee, and got away with it.

According to the News-Tribune, Smith used an extension cord to strangle his wife, then used extension cords to bind her hands and feet together. Smith claims to have been drinking a half-dozen soft drinks and energy drinks per day, plus diet pills.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they can prove Smith is lying, and that their own medical expert is prepared to testify that there was no evidence Smith had consumed diet pills or energy drinks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Louisville UFOs, 8-28-07

Not sure what to make of this YouTube video. The jet plane leaving contrails is nothing out of the ordinary (unless you see it as a chemtrail double-sprayer) but there are two different shiny objects flying around it. I say "flying around it" meaning from the camera's point of view, of course - they could actually be nowhere near the plane. We can't judge size without knowing distance, and vice versa.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

World Equestrian Games

One from our Transylvania Gentlemen blog:

You've seen it advance-hawked on the big sign on I-64 for years now, and at last it's finally here: the World Equestrian Games opens in Kentucky on September 25.

My fellow Irishmen Ronan Tynan and Muhammad Ali will be on hand, as well as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Cherryholmes. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, will also be there (he owns Gainsborough Farms in Versailles, KY and the global breeding operation Darley.)

But what I really want to know is, will noted equestrian and Kentucky horse farm owner William Shatner be there? (That's Bill pictured above, with his saddlebred horse All Glory.)

I'm gonna be there in the cheap seats. Want to hang out? Find me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little Town and Country

I haven't tried the grub at the Little Town and Country restaurant in Bedford, KY yet, but I sure love soft-serve cones and neon signs.

The words "drive-in" puzzle me, though. It doesn't seem to be a "drive-in restaurant" in the sense of, say, Sonic, Wig Wam, Parkette, Dairy Dart or The Twin. There's a side window that might once have been for walk-up orders, but it doesn't appear to be in use now.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Glass-Encased Urns

I love the idea of any gravestone with glass or plexiglass enclosures, although I wish the companies that manufacture them would take better care to create ones that are actually waterproof.

This one (spotted in the Bedford cemetery in Trimble County) has unfortunately let in a great deal of moisture, to the extent that some sort of orange fungus is thriving inside the clear glass casing with the urns.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Man Kills Wife Over Breakfast

According to MSNBC, a Breathitt County man facing eviction proceedings snapped last night, killing his wife, his stepdaughter, and three others who lived nearby in the same trailer park.

Neighbors say Stanley Neace stormed around the trailer park in his pajamas, firing dozens of shots from a 12-gauge shotgun, and then he went back into his own trailer and committed suicide.

Reportedly, what set Neace off was an argument with his wife over how she prepared his morning eggs not to his liking.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Return of Happy and Froggie

A crew from Remix Films were just here at Chez JSH, interviewing me for their documentary film When Happy Met Froggie. The movie's all about the great lost Lexington 1970s children's show Happy's Hour, starring Happy the Clown and his puppet friend Froggie. And of course, my painting of them makes a prominent appearance. (Guess what, sniffers, the price just went up!)

Do you have any memorabilia pertaining to Happy's Hour, or any special memories or experience with the show, that may be of use for the documentary? It may not be too late - contact the producers and let them know!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kentuckians Plan Alternative to Quran-burning

You've probably heard about this nutcase "Dove World Outreach" preacher in Florida who's announced "International Burn a Koran Day". (The Qu'ran (or Koran) is the holy scripture of Islam, which has at least 1.5 billion followers worldwide. There are numerous paths and factions within Islam, from the Sunni to the Shi'a to the Ahmadiyya to the Nation of Islam.)

His publicity stunt has managed to stir up millions of people into new heights of hatred against America, and even the President has urged him to reconsider, fearing his actions will incite violent reprisals and terrorist attacks. At press time, supposedly he's announced that he's changed his mind and is withdrawing his plans for the book-burning event. But of course, he probably well knows that a lot of the yahoos out there that he's inspired will go ahead and hold their local book-burnings anyway, whether he's in or out.

Here in Kentucky, fortunately, cooler heads are prevailing at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville. They're countering the book-burning with an "Honoring Sacred Texts" event, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The service is offered by Interfaith Paths to Peace, a Louisville organization that promotes religious freedom and tolerance.

Meanwhile, while the world is arguing endlessly over just how many blocks away from the site of the 9-11 attacks a Mosque should be allowed to stand, there's a new Mosque in Louisville. The Muslim Community Center on Westport Road is nearing completion and I'm pleased to say, there's been no outcry, no protests, no threats made.

The Dove World Outreach website is down as I write this, but the Google cache is viewable here. You can also find a Google cache of their charmingly simple-minded treatise "Ten Reasons To Burn A Koran" here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Corn Pops on Stalk

According to a story in the News-Enterprise, a Hardin County farmer is reporting corn has been popping while still growing on the stalk in his cornfield.

"Star Mills farmer Patrick Preston sent a photo of the burst kernels that look like partially popped popcorn to the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Hardin County Extension agent Doug Shepherd told The News Enterprise he's never seen popped kernels before."

So is this a global warming thing? Or a genetically-modified Monsanto thing? Or just an isolated freak of nature?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Cincinnati Anticline

There's a natural formation known (primarily to geologists) as the Cincinnati Anticline. It's a vast oval-shaped area that extends over the three-way intersection of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, and extending well into central Kentucky. The oval's Eastern side runs along Cincinnati, hence the name.

According to the book Elements of Geology by William Harmon Norton, the anticline is of great interest to those studying the fossil record. The anticline is almost entirely composed of Ordovician strata, and the Silurian and Devonian decrease as they approach it. Norton takes this to mean that the anticline is "an island upwarped from the sea at the close of the Ordovician or shortly thereafter."

Supposedly it's this anticline that makes much of Kentucky so rich in fossils from the ancient ocean, including the Falls of the Ohio along Louisville's riverside - and yet the Falls of the Ohio is said to be of Devonian origin, not Ordovician. I leave the matter for professional geologists to sort out.

According to a surprisingly florid bit of text in the usually dry Kentucky Encyclopedia, the anticline is also indirectly responsible for Kentucky being the thoroughbred horse capitol of the world. Early settlers noticed the geological qualities of the anticline contributed to making Kentucky a land with densely fertile soil, rich in calcium and phosphorus, and this in turn led to it being prized by horse ranchers:

"This legacy of phosphatic limestone, inherited from millions of shells and skeletons, deposited millions of years earlier when central Kentucky was an ocean bed, was now to be used to build the skeletons of horses... the phosphatic limestone which forms the basis of central Kentucky's soil has proved its efficacy."

The anticline also just happens to roughly correspond to the area affected by the 1895 Charleston, Missouri, earthquake along the New Madrid Fault (see area indicated in red in the image above).