BONUS CHRISTMSAS GIFT For 2017 -In The Spirit Of Giving – Poison Dart Frogs

In the spirit of the season and in keep with the thought of giving more this year to clean up some karmic imbalances that are lingering around the old fire pit we here at *The Institute have decided to add a BONUS GIFT item for you to choose. No, no, don’t thank us it’s our way of saying Thank you for your support during the past year.

Note: This is a repost of one of our Top Ten Gifts for the discerning buyer originally published in December of 2013, a year that will live in infamy. In what has become a half-assed tradition here at The Institute we have been irregularly reposting these now famous gift selections when we remember to do so in a lame attempt to create a Holiday Tradition and mostly because we suddenly realize it’s Christmas time and we don’t have squat done. It’s fun and we don’t have to spend the time making new stuff up. Enjoy.

Give the gift that keeps on giving! Unique and exclusively available at *The Institute’s own Gift Shop, Catalog, and Screen Door Factory. 

Nature’s Best but our Copy! It’s our very Own Selection of


It’s that time of year again. You know, when you wrack your brain trying to find that perfect gift for those folks on your indigenous people’s list. We’ve all been through it. You’ve got those eight or nine people that are always so difficult to buy for. They’re in the jungles and backwaters of Guyana or Brazil or even the Amazon. They already have iPhone’s, large screen TV’s, Sam’s club gift cards. You’ve given those Nike T-shirts and matching flip-flops so many times the recipients look at you with that “Is this best you could do.” look and you’re ashamed to add one more set to their collection. What to give them that they’ll love and make a difference in their lives? We have the answer!

This year give them something they can really use. Poison Dart Frogs! That’s right, choose from our great selection of Poison Dart frogs grown in our own highly restricted zoology labs here at *The Institute. We have a fantastic color selection and each frog has been force-fed specially formulated Poison Dart frog chow developed with our friends at Purina. These frogs are as deadly as they come. Those Howler monkeys will never know what hit them, but our friends down there in their snake-infested homes will. See the joy on their faces as it “Rains Howlers!” That’s right “Monkeys from the sky!” See the special glow on their faces as they use blowdarts dipped in their very own Poison Dart poison made from the sweat and other gooey secretions on these little frogs bodies. Watch as they build and customize their very own collection of Poison Dart frogs that you sent them. Remember, Give a man a dead Howler monkey and he will eat and perhaps become ill, but teach him how to make his own poison tipped blowgun darts and you will feed him forever.

Choose from the individuals pictured below. Buy just one or get the 3 pack so your gift-tee’s can mix and match their own specially customized toxic brew. They won’t be able to thank you enough.

Item #8887PDF11-0-6 Dyeing Poison Dart Frog. Known as “Kill Dat Monkey”. Yellow and black with Prussian blue feet. Native to northern South America. Toxicity rating 8.9 on the **HMM scale wgt: 1.73 troy ounces $2300.00 each. Limit 100 to each mailing address.

Item #3359PDF27-0-72 Orange Banded Poison Dart frog, Known as “Drop Them Loggers” Black with orange bands. Native to Guyana, South America.  Toxicity rating 11.4 on the HMM scale wgt. 96 troy ounces. This is our largest Poison Dart frog so we can only fit four in a box. $19.00 each limit 60 to each mailing address.

Item #5916PDF03-0-19 Purple, black, white, Poison Dart frog, native to West Hollywood, California, known as Lavender Lovelace for the deep-throated roar it produces right before expelling its poison. Toxicity rating 4.81 on the HMM scale wgt. .062 troy ounces. This is one of our smallest but easiest to use frogs. Due to its low toxicity it is perfect for children just starting out or feeble folks who tend to not know what they’re doing most of the time. Will burn the skin severely but it will not cause death if treated promptly. Must be used with adult supervision if purchased for minors. $81.00 each no limit

Note: These Poison Dart frogs are dangerous. Use at your own risk. We at The Institute accept no responsibility for misuse of this product. Children under 16 should have adult supervision. May cause skin cancer if applied to the body. May cause agony and death if ingested. Do not suck on the frogs attempting to “get high”, they are not hallucinogenic. Keeps frogs away from food preparation areas. Rinse dead Howler monkeys thoroughly before handling or consuming. Do not store poison in open containers or near fires. Do not rub poison on any part of body to enhance desire. It will have the opposite effect. Keep and read thoroughly all packing and care and feeding instructions for your Poison Dart Frogs. If accidentally swallowed immediately find a clear space to lie down in free of any obstructions so your spasms and contortions will not cause property damage. Do not burn bodies of those killed by Poison Dart frog poison as ingesting the smoke may cause additional fatalities. Enjoy your new Poison Dart Frogs and Happy Holidays.

** HMM (Holy Moley Maynard) a scale developed here at The Institute to measure how fast something dangerous will affect you.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Cloud Cutting


Many of you long time readers are aware of *The Institute’s weather modification program. We developed this ability to modify and even create certain kinds of weather early on in The Institute’s development. This was done for many reasons, all of them altruistic, but mainly for money. The Institute is expensive to run and maintain and we seek funds wherever we might find them.

We have different projects in the works constantly to fund our operation, from our innovative metal can retrieval program from the roadsides of our Nation’s highways to assisting NASA with their Space Program by supporting probes to Uranus and beyond. We have an outreach program where we have housebound or incarcerated individuals address envelopes for various corporations to help keep the Post Office’s Junk Mail program alive. That keeps untold dozens of postal workers busy and gainfully employed. There is no project too small if it assists us in maintaining the integrity and longevity of The Institute and brings in a buck or two.

Our supremacy had been untouchable in the weather modification arena and we had been so far out front that you had to jump up in the air real high to even see our dust. Then the Aussie’s got in the game. Man, they are tough. Their program to limit rain and cause desertification of huge areas, if not all of their country, has been unassailable. Our program to “drought up” California has been good but we can’t even touch what the Australians are capable of. Which is difficult for us to admit. Right now they’re the ones we watch.

Because of their (we’re talking about those miserably overachieving Aussies here) ability to make inroads into the weather modification business in general, we have had to look for other areas of the business to augment our extensive programs. We believe we’ve hit on something the rest of the WeatherMod group hasn’t touched yet and that is the untouched field of Boutique Weather. This is a small business at this time but we think the potential is absolutely enormous.

There are many very wealthy States that have incredible tourism businesses. States like Colorado, Utah, Arizona ( a biggie ) Montana, parts of New Mexico and when they pay their bills (which is why we have them in a “droughtie” right now) Northern California that are looking for that edge to keep those tourists coming in and to keep them there longer. That’s where we come in. We are already supplying many of those states and other small touristy kind of countries with custom-designed sunrises and sunsets. With our new custom “Cloud Cutting” ability we can custom tailor those sunrises and sunsets by ‘cutting’ the edges and shapes of the clouds so that they can feature or highlight a tourist drawing element, by allowing the light to be directed on them for maximum viewing pleasure. Think, Devil’s Tower, or parts of the Grand Canyon, Isis for instance, where before you had a pleasant sunset that sort of showed off the various elements of the scene, but now with our Patented Applied For “Cloud Cutting” technology, those individual elements can be seen by those money-toting tourists much more clearly and colorfully than ever before. Talk about making it rain greenbacks, we can hardly keep up with the demand for these new custom tailored clouds. Now coupled with our ability to create clouds of any size, shape or profile we feel we have a real winner here. Need God beams, we can do that. Need tiny or large holes or openings in your cloud for extra special effects? We can do that. Right now the sky’s the limit, so to speak.

The image featured above is over the Eastern edge of The Institute’s testing grounds where we work on many of our new weather projects. This is the program at work using the new “Sun nibbling” feature where we are sculpting the edge of the cloud to perhaps highlight a small secluded cove on the Eastern Seaboard, or perhaps one of the little canyons that feed into the Grand Canyon, or a meadow up in Yellowstone where elk graze in the early morning or evening. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

We have high hopes for this new element in our Weather modification program and already interest is running high for this unique new addition and we see big things on the horizon. Watch the sky above and stay tuned for further innovations.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind.




Virga or the art of teasing as played by Mother Nature, is when the rain falls from the sky but doesn’t reach the earth below. It evaporates right before it should hit the ground. It’s like a giant game of “She loves me, She loves me not” where she pulls the petals off her garden of clouds and when she pulls one while gently singing “She Loves me”, the rain will fall to the ground and the dry earth knows she loves it. However when she pulls the “She loves Me Not” petal the rain falls to within inches of the thirsty earth but does not touch it. This is bad. It indicates that she is in a capricious mood and things can go either way. Since Mother Nature knows which petal it is before she pulls it and she’s feeling slightly out of sorts she can pull the “She Loves Me Not” petals all day long. This is what is happening in California right now.

I don’t know what those folks did wrong, it probably has something to do with Nancy Pelosi, but they better get their mind right and straighten things out. Mother Nature has a lot more will-power than all of California, even those parts like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and can do this as long as she wants. Like hundreds of years if you really tick her off.

Marble canyon didn’t do anything wrong though, it just happens to be in a spot where there isn’t much rain, and what rain does fall is used sparingly. Mother Nature actually likes Marble Canyon and the surrounding area so she only teases a little. This time the Virga is sort of a wake up call saying “I’m bringing you some rain guys, get ready”. This moment in time was just a short tease however. When the canyon needs rain she pulls the right petal. The dark clouds in the background were moving in and before you knew it Mother Nature had pulled every “She Loves Me ” petal she could get her hands on and Marble canyon had all the rain it needed and more.

In the mean time anyone who wanted to could sit back and watch the spectacle unfold. The canyon is actually a couple of miles from where this image was taken so the rain didn’t reach out this far. The close-up appearance of the canyon comes from the magic a telephoto lens and the stitching power of Photoshop to put the 13 photos together needed to create this panorama. Click on it to enlarge the image somewhat for a closer look yet. Is this a great world to live in, or what.

Short Days


As Director of the World Famous Institute I was surprised and somewhat dismayed at the fact that the days here in the immediate area of the Institute’s holdings are getting noticeably shorter. It was just a moment ago and it was light until nearly 10:00 pm. You could work late. Get things done. Now just a low belch after supper it was getting dark. I mean, like, Geeze. We have things to do yet that require long periods of light. Places to go, pictures to take, stuff to look at. Check out the picture above. That’s what happens when it gets dark early. Well I immediately called a meeting.

Gathering the heads of the various departments that are responsible for handling these types of events I demanded answers. “WTF is going on?” was one of my first queries. Looking around to see who I could pin down for some straight answers my gaze swept over the my elite team of specialists. We have cast offs from NOAA, The WMO: World Meteorological Service, The National Weather Service, the one run by the government, even CoCoRaHS or the Community Collaborative Rain Hail & Snow Network, none of them would look me in the eye. We even have that goofy intern wunderkind that has The WeatherBug widget on his computer at the table, as it seems most of these other supposed experts ask him daily for the forecast. No one ventured an answer.

“This shall not stand!” I roared in my best dictatorial voice “These days shall not get shorter until we get all the crap done we’re supposed to and If heads have to roll, then I advise you to get steel collars on your wife beaters, because they will.” The room got quiet, even the WeatherBug kid snuffed out his joint. They knew I was serious. We’ve had purges here before and for a lot less reason. I reminded them if they had any chance in hell of getting that back pay I was holding just for circumstances like this, they had better get things straightened out and I mean now. Yeah that got the sweat rolling down their faces.

They started brainstorming and the suggestions that flew around our 35′
Amazonian Rosewood table, imported before the moratorium on wasting irreplaceable timber resources went into effect, that went from the sublime to the ridiculous. “Let’s pull an iceberg down and plant it off the coast of California and reflect sunlight back this way. That’ll get us a couple more hours.” This was from the NOAA guy. Every other word out of his mouth was iceberg  this and iceberg that. I remembered they punched his ticket for spending too much time out on the icebergs until he was just too loopy to find his butt with both hands behind him. He may not have been our best pick of the litter.

Someone asked the guy from the WMO, the ex-World Meteorological Service person, for a suggestion but no one could get him to answer until we provided him with a mike and a whiteboard. He’s turned out to be useless. They wouldn’t even send his dossier over, said it was classified. That’s probably why we got him so cheap.

The suggestions flew around the table, each one more preposterous than the next until a quiet voice was heard back at the end of the table. “How much more time do you need each day? How many hours?” The room went deathly still. You could have heard a pin drop. It was the stoner kid, the intern we took in after they towed the 79 Pontiac he was living in. We hired him because he was able to get Outlook to work again and we could get our email. He’s now the head of our IT department and will make big, I mean big bucks, if we ever pay him. I thought for  a minute and said “About 4 hours.” “What time is it now” he asked. I looked at my steel-cased, waterproof to 600 meters Rolex chronometer and said “11:15”. “Set your clocks back 4 hours.” he said.

Set your clocks back 4 hours! Set your clocks back? That would make it like 7:15 in the morning. We had the whole day ahead of us. “Eureka!!!” someone yelled, I think it was that woman from CoCoRaHS and pandemonium broke loose. What an absolute perfect solution and it didn’t cost anything, other than hiring that crazy guy to climb the tower and change that clock up there, but that was nothing compared to the productivity we’d get with the days made 4 hours longer. Who would have thought that little 420 burner, I think his name is Billy Haze, would have the answer. My aide, in a quiet aside, said I should reward him somehow, do something nice for him. So I told him that he could move from his tent into one of the dorm rooms in the intern barracks. He quickly asked if it could be one of the heated ones. I nearly balked but thinking of all the time he saved us I said yes, and he immediately split to move his stuff before I changed my mind.

Right now everyone is in feverish hyperactivity determined to wring every second out of those new 4 hours. Quarterly reviews are coming up and since their pay, or lack of it, is dependent on their scores everyone wants to look like a hero. We’ll see. Personally I’m soon off to an important shoot and can’t wait until I get to pack those 4 hours with pictures from my latest adventure. If I run out of light, I may set my watch back another hour. Genius that kid, absolute genius.

Springtime In Scott’s Bluff


Some of you out there have written in to say that Spring is happening in other parts of the country besides the Rockies. While we don’t dispute that statement entirely we still stand by our position that Spring is really a Mountain event best seen by visiting any part of the high country now. We suggest that you hurry west until you run into the area where the ground is pointing sharply upwards then proceed with caution so you don’t smack into something beautiful.

Now having said that we understand that some of you may have strong regional feelings, and for that we’re truly sorry, and even think, misguided as it may be, that Spring is beautiful near where you live. We can’t help you much with that other than to sympathize and make the offer yet again for you to come visit out here, in the mountains, the home of Spring itself.

In order to placate some of you that have sent in rather heated letters stating that you’d appreciate a little acknowledgement of your local beauty we have decided to show you a view of somewhere different today. This would be Scott’s Bluff Nebraska, a place on the way to the Rockies. It’s famous for being a spot to reach early in your trip, if you were tripping in a wagon train full of covered wagons on your way to California in the 1800’s.

You definitely wanted to be here in very early Spring if you were going to make it over the mountains and into California before winter set in again. So, as many of you who got here and saw the daunting task of the journey yet before you said “screw it I’m staying here” this became a regular sight every Spring and we have to admit, it is pretty. Actually it’s very pretty and we’re almost convinced that there are very lovely places if one does venture away from the mountains occasionally. I realize that this might be construed as a heretical statement but we try to be fair and impartial here.

Here’s another view of  the same area.


See it’s nice.

Alright then. That should satisfy those of you who are convinced that Spring exists other places than here in the Rocky Mountains.


Spa Day



It’s Friday again, I know, how could that happen, it was just Monday a minute ago but it is. And as you know this is the day we give you ideas on what to do over the weekend. This weekend we thought we might offer something a little different. Last weekends suggestion of jetting off to Cape Disappoint on the Washington coast in your private jet was a big hit with some of you. Actually very few of you but the ones who went said it was great.

This weekend we decided to scale it down a bit and offer something for the ladies out there. That’s a big fat Spa day! Guys can go along too, but I’d recommend skipping the pedicure session Saturday morning. Ladies and some who aren’t really, like spa days and find it a big treat to go to them and have stuff done to them that they can’t get done in the privacy of their own homes.

So what can you do at a spa and more importantly what can be done to you in a spa, you might ask. Well lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Listed below, in no particular order, are spa treatments you can order at your local spa, or if they’re unavailable there, where you can go this weekend to get them.

First is a Snake massage.

Hop over to Israel where you can get a massage from several non-venomous snakes as they slither up and presumably down your spine. Cost $70 US.

Or try your choice of the Tea, Coffee,red wine, sake, or Ramen noodle bath in Japan.

This is one is a little closer to home and I’ll bet to ladies hearts. That’s the chocolate wrap you can get at the spa in Hershey, Pa. They will wrap you or more concisely smear chocolate all over you and they mean all over and then leave you alone for a while. As a guy I have to wonder why they would leave you alone for a while but women do some strange stuff so we’ll just leave it at that.

Gold. In Japan, they give you a gold facial. That’s gold painted on your face for as long as you want it there. The cost, a measly 250 bucks, and I gotta say that if you can afford the plane ticket to Japan and back that’s pretty darn reasonable.

How about a cactus massage? In Mexico you can get rubbed, whacked, stroked or whatever with a spineless cactus paddle and pay for it. The cost $245. It doesn’t say whether that is in peso’s or dollars

And for those of  you with more agrarian roots there is a Wet Hay Wrap in Italy where you get wrapped in wet hay harvested from the meadows of Alpe di Siusi between mid-July and early August then lie on a special 100° waterbed until they harvest you I guess. As a special bonus for those of you who make it you receive a foot treatment where a fish named the Garra Rufa eat away whatever may be lurking on your feet.

I saved the most special treatment for last. That’s the Fanny Facial.  I know it seems like a contradiction in terms but that’s how it’s listed. In New York City, like where else except maybe most of California, can you get a fanny facial? I mean it’s strange even asking the question. What happens is you go in and ask for this deliberately, obviously they don’t just give you one without asking, then they perform a exfoliation of the fanny areas with a papaya-mint scrub, followed by a micro-current therapy where they apparently zap your hiney with low-voltage current to remove in their words, “any lumps or bumps from your butt”, then the whole business is finished with an organic spray tan so your fanny glows like the noon day sun. This has got to be special people. The cost was not revealed but I got to say it has to be worth it.

So those are just some of the treatments available to the Spa goer. Yes they may seem a little irregular to those who don’t frequent spas regularly or that only go to low rent ones where these special treatments aren’t available but our job is to bring you the newest and trendiest things out there, and these were certainly out there.

The ladies pictured above have just completed Yellowstone’s interpretation of a spa which is, as you can see, a snow spa, where you can spend a leisurely hour or two in the sub-zero waters of the Yellowstone river, then be rubbed down by brawny park rangers with snow before finishing the day next to a warm geyser. Upon asking we found that the Fanny Facial is not offered in Yellowstone.

There you have it. That’s the special weekend activities for you ladies. I’m sure you can’t wait to “hit the spa” as they say somewhere I’m sure. For you guys I might remind you that there’s a game on almost every minute of the weekend and beer in the fridge. Just give her the credit card and don’t ask.