Friday, May 10, 2013

Still more stories that make you say, "huh?"

It's always amazing the interesting stuff one finds while conducting a daily Internet check-in. These are the stories that might be missed by your everyday cyber surfer given the eclectic subject matter. You know - cheese races, interesting scientific experiments, animal artists...that stuff.

Speaking or writing about animal artists, as a person who has taken up painting in the last few years, it's difficult to sell one's artistic output to say the least. Given the competition out there, sales are few and far between at best. However, there's no horsing around for some people - and this term is used loosely- when it comes to selling their art work or art output.

Take for example, artist, Metro Meteor, who used to spend his working days at a race track. The 10 year old never placed a bet in his life but in his former vocation as a thoroughbred bay, made his money racing around a track in Maryland. However, afflicted with bad knees and following his retirement in 2009, he took to relaxing by taking brush in hand, or in the horse's case, to mouth, and is turning out canvases that are being bought by the public. Just what we artists need: more competition.

After being adopted by artist, Ron Krajewski, he decided to give the horse painting lessons to spend more time with him. The rest as they say, is history and in just four short months, Metro is the best-selling artist at Gallery 30, a small shop in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

According to the story, the horse's paintings created by swinging his (Metro's) head, feature "colorful, sweeping brush strokes, complete with specks of sawdust. As an aside and case anybody reading this is interested, my artistic output also has lots of color, interesting brush strokes but no saw dust. Maybe one should consider buying saw dust to add that extra something to one's paintings...

The proverbial icing on the cake is that Metro's output has a waiting list of 120 people waiting to buy his larger paintings measuring 20x20" that sell for $850 at the gallery, while the smaller 5x7" cut-down versions go for $80.  Half of Metro’s earnings to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, a charity that seeks homes and rehabilitation for retired racehorses. The owner of Gallery 30 donates a portion of Metro’s profits to a local animal shelter - a nice gesture.

As a celebrity horse, Metro now makes appearances on network TV and has also received requests for endorsements. One wonders how he signs his canvases. One hoof or two...

Moving right along...

For whatever reason, money-saving move springs to mind or just to be different, O'Hare Airport in Chicago, has hired 25 goats to keep 120 acres of airport grass, nice and mowed, or at least mowed, anyway. The goats will arrive and set to their task in a month focusing on hard-to-mow embankments and areas with dense brush. To ensure the job is done properly, a shepherd will watch the flock to avoid runway run-ins. There is no mention of flute accompaniment. Just thought I'd throw that in.

It's a win-win situation with the goat contract worth $20,000 through to the end of 2014, cheaper than using machine lawnmowers. The goats are also happy one presumes, since they are owned by restaurant, "The Butcher and the Burger." Goat burgers aren't on the menu.

And finally...

Most turkeys - the animal type - live out their lives (as short as they may be) on a farm and then there are some, for whatever reason - get their directions mixed up. A couple living in Brookline, Massachusetts, were taken aback when a turkey crashed through their window. A police officer arrived and managed to coax the turkey out of the house through a window. This leads one - me - to ponder what means were used to coax said turkey to leave the premises. Perhaps the turkey was bribed with corn or food.

Although the turkey lost a small amount of blood, it wasn't worse for wear.

This once again leads one - moi - to reflect upon the issue whether turkeys can fly. I mean, how did the turkey under discussion crash through a double-paned window? Out of curiosity, went on a Web search to seek an answer once and for all and came across some interesting turkey-related stats. if anybody is interested. This is an important issue for some people, readers!

According to the site, "Information Please":

- Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.

- Turkeys sometimes spend the night in trees.

- Turkeys can have heart attacks: turkeys in fields near the Air Force test areas over which the sound barrier was broken were known to drop dead from the shock of passing jets

 - The ballroom dance known as the Turkey Trot was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey makes.

Speaking of turkeys, remember Les Nessman of "WKRP In Cincinnati" - one of my favorite oldie TV shows - and the infamous turkey drop? If not, here is a refresher. Poor turkeys...

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