All Dreams Must End

A view from the main deck of the World Headquarters of The Institute, “Even the hills are sad” said The Director from his gold plated Chair of Immensity as he gazed out into the unknown one last time.

As many of you know *The Institute has been a constant in the life of the blog here at BigShotsNow.com since the blog was started. It has been the center of knowledge and wisdom gained by a continuous quest for the unusual, the ridiculous, the sublime, not to mention the impossible. It has more than fulfilled its mandate to collect, observe, analyze, collate, spindle and in some cases mutilate the facts that have been collected. Our constant scientific approach to reporting the incredible but strange observations we have made has made us an unrivaled source for those who need to know stuff. Stuff being the little niggling thoughts in the back of your mind, such as “Are there more fake flamingos in the world than real ones?” Answer: Yes. What, you didn’t know that!

Our motto ” Tell them and they will believe” has been our guiding precept since the very beginnings of The Institute from its inception back in the misty, raw, primeval formation of its creation. Back to the time when we first began to make stuff up and then tell people about it.

The “The Institute” (it is always referred to as The Institute no matter how awkward that may make things) is composed of many huge interconnected yet rambling structures with ancient high walls and soaring towers, narrow deeply cut windows suitable for defense if needed, balconies and various platforms that jut out from the walls at dizzying heights for observation and the making of photographic studies.

There is an open to the air aviary with gorgeously colored birds from every part of the globe, a celestial observation dome with a one-off custom Hubble telescope to make discoveries never before seen by human eyes no matter how keen, weather modification facilities, galleries with art collections rivaling the Louvre, single use bathrooms, a dirigible tower for the mooring of The Institute’s own fleet of sleek but shiny airships that continually arrive from all four corners of the globe bearing visitors and dignitaries, educators and students, really smart people and some just a taco short of a combination plate. All of them here to soak in the tenacious atmosphere of The Institute. There is a full-sized fully automatic medical center staffed with neat medical stuff so advanced even an intern can run it and often do, that we haven’t even unpacked it all yet. It’s still sitting there in boxes, with labels like “Heart Installer !!! This end up” and Billy Kimshee’s “New and Popular Lymph Node Stripper” plus others too medical to list. Whole operations have been performed here with and without human assistance, or anesthetic for that matter. Just lock them in the chair, select what procedure you want done from the digital menu and hit the on button.

Nestled on the slopes of an ancient caldera The Institute hugs the side of a mountain and overlooks the meadows and forests that make up the floor of the bowl formed after the last eruption that seems like months ago. Down on the gentle land in the valley miles below you can see great herds of mule deer and Elk making their way from stream to pasture. Parts of the valley floor are sectioned off for agricultural pursuits, you can see some of our indentured servants and interns (same thing really) working happily away bringing in the harvests and tending to the livestock, keeping them from straying into the razor wire and the fell pits dug to discourage trespassing. Our huge fields with crops of sisal and myrrh used in the production of quinine and other life saving drugs lie next to the great barren areas of crushed volcanic ash, mined for the making of tooth whitening powder in the mills and factories scattered throughout this great land of ours. Enormous herds of nearly extinct wildlife, black rhinos, lowland gorillas, Minah birds, black racers and African spitting Cobras, ferrets, rare blue wildebeest and Snow leopards are cultivated for sale to the many Wild Game restaurants throughout the United States and parts of the Far East but not North Korea. The Institute is a bucolic land full of life and love and sometimes puppies, but not always.

If you are the kind of reader who is brave or merely curious, or just plain bored, you could type in the phrase “The Institute” into the handy and permanent search box at the top of the page and you would find dozens if not many examples of the amazing if not incredulous varieties of scientific discoveries, unrepentant adventures, steamy instructions on how to live a more fulfilling life, pleas (read begging) for funding our many sketchy unsupported government projects, new unique explanations of how things really work and handy tips on how not to be a dweeb but instead be someone cool and fun without being that good looking, that your friends and that gorgeous chick with the insane betty’s in 7b would admire. Go ahead, take a chance it might just change your life (be sure to read our disclaimer page before making any real life changes). We are not and never have been responsible for weird stuff you choose to do after visiting the internet.

The Institute has been a fully realized dream of the author and as such it has been representational of a time and place that happened in a blink of an eye, or the firing of a synapse in the lower dark place of his brain. It has been a way to share events and happenings that actually took place in the real world but perhaps not completely as they were described in the various posts that were written. But like all dreams the dreamer is forced to wake and face a new day. Even as you read this the mighty walls of The Institute are becoming thin, slowly folding in on themselves, becoming transparent, the far-reaching borders of The Institutes’s grounds pulling in to the center, shrinking until the once mighty reaches of its borders are nothing more than a mote in God’s eye.

The indentured servants, interns and our tame PhD’s that have faithfully served us since we began making them up way back in 2013, a year that will live in infamy, are evaporating like snowflakes landing on steaming prose, returning to whatever state they were in before being shanghaied to live and exist here in the confines of The Institutes world. It is a time of change. Bold, tumultuous, totally unexciting change, where due to some awful but catastrophic events that have occurred that we would like to share with you but can’t, mostly because it might cause depression on a scale unprecedented in the world to date, the The Institute has been forced to close down, shut its doors, and perhaps, and this is the tear-jerker part, cease its activities forever. As Mr. Bill said on Saturday Night Live some time ago “Oh No! Not that! Don’t do that!” yet it’s true Virginia, The Institute may be gone forever.

When you next wake The Institute will be no more than a brief if not exciting dream, sometimes a nightmare, sometimes one of those kind you learned about in High School health class, but always interesting, always fun, or meant to be anyway. All dreams must end. The dreamer wakes, looks about, struggles to find meaning in the new day, and soldiers on. As do we all. Yes it’s a memory, some might even think it a loss, we love those people, they’re the ones that kept the dream alive for as long as it lasted, but if you stop and consider that after a long day we have a new night, a time to rest and rejuvenate, a time to turn the days thoughts, activities and stresses off and perchance to dream again. Remember in dreams anything may happen.

The blog BigShotsNow will continue with new images and new stories to accompany them, as often as The Director can write them, and as always some of them will be true, not all, but some. The fate of The Institute is up in the air, like the author stated, perchance we’ll dream again.

* 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.

Buffalo Jokes

Carl and Rodger, editors and chief joke selectors for Buffalo Jokes here at BigShotsNow the blog.

Today’s presentation

So Carl, didja see today’s joke?”

“Yeah”

“Whadya think?”

“Well Rodger, I think we’re going to get our butts handed to us for that one.”

“How’s that?”

“I mean come on. It’s not politically correct. It makes fun of an area we’re supposed to be very aware of and supportive of with our challenged friends, and it’s insensitive.”

“Yeah but did you laugh?”

“Yes, yes I did. Really hard. I snorted little bits of hay right out of my nose.”

“Ok, see what I mean, we’re going to get our asses handed to us for this one.”

Note: From the editorial offices of BigShotsNow the blog

Regarding Insensitive and Unfunny posts that may appear on the blog under the heading Buffalo Jokes.

*The Institute and The Director would like to make it very clear that any material including insensitive politically incorrect jokes do not represent the ideals and beliefs of the The Institute and its Director or senior editorial staff. We do not condone or support politically incorrect humor. Carl and Rodger, creators of the unsyndicated column “Buffalo Jokes”  are a loosely affiliated group of buffalo humorists that occasionally submit items through a largely automated system that due to its nature prohibits the viewing of these items prior to their submission and as such are not run through our regular editors. This unfortunately allows the infrequent publication of material we would have axed had we seen it before it was published. The senior staff including The Institute’s Director, would like to offer our sincere apologies to anyone who might have been offended by today’s post. We’d offer Carl and Rodgers apologies too, but they’re buffaloes and buffaloes don’t apologize. It’s just the way they are. We have sent them a very sternly worded letter and suggested they avail themselves of Sensitivity Training at their earliest opportunity. But we’re not holding our breath.

* 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.

New Years Day 2017

Happy New Year!

Here is the first sunrise of what we hope is a promising new year. It arrived exactly on schedule at 7:24 am with a certain amount of fanfare and flair. The Director, as is his wont, made the arduous climb up the 842 steps to the solar observatory in the very top of the East tower of the main building here at *The Institute to take the annual sunrise photograph. It being a tradition here at The Institute to record the ushering in of the new year with a photo taken to prove that sunrise did indeed occur and we can all rest easy.

Under an agreement with Lenny at the Better Business Bureau in Florence, Italy and Gino the guy that helped get the telescope out of the building without anyone seeing him at the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (renamed the Museo Galileo in 2010) in Florence, Italy, we have on permanent loan one of Galileo’s original telescopes. Yeah we know, quite a coup on our part.

Simply by duct taping a new D810 Nikon digital camera with 36 megapixels for prettier pictures and nice leather on the body to the eyepiece, we were able to make this image showing the sun peeping over the horizon. Seeing everything was all clear it continued its journey up into the heavens thereby officially starting the New Year. This is an Institute exclusive of which we are justly proud, and unavailable anywhere else on the Interweb. Below is a picture of the telescope prior to our duct taping our camera to it. Well, it does look a little ratty but remember this thing is 400 years old. Once we wrap some black electricians tape around it, it’ll look better.

So having done our duty yet once again, The Director, The Institute, and yours truly the author of this blog, wish you a very Happy New Year. May everything you hoped for this year become a reality. See you soon with a whole new year full of new and exciting adventures, journeys and observations as we continue to bring you all that *The Institute has to offer.

* 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.

Merry Christmas

All of us here at BigShotsNow the blog, The Director, all of the interns even the ones to whom Christmas is just a time to work harder, The Institute itself under its unofficial recognition as the greatest Institute in the world, our faithful animal employees such as Pepper Blue our resident snow taster shown here hard at work checking the taste of the snow for granular consistency, all of us, even Dwight Lutsey the author and the one responsible for the blog want to take this time to say a heartfelt Merry Christmas to all of you. May this time be filled with family, friends and loved ones, not necessarily in that order and that each of you got that pony with the red saddle that you’ve been waiting on all these years. If not keep the faith there’s always next year. May you be blessed with the goodwill of the season and that it lasts all through the coming year. Merry Christmas and come back and visit often.

Bear Strips

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Like much of the mountain west we have been plagued by pesky bears. They’re everywhere. For some reason *The institute has even more bears than the average bear-plagued place, with dozens if not more undocumented bears roaming around The Institutes grounds with impunity. They’re like locusts, you go for years without seeing a single locust then suddenly you are up to your Fuon Bwey Bwey’s in them. Such as it is now with bears. There must have been a hell of a party over the winter to have so many young bears running around now.

These bear cubs reach a point where they have grown to a size that their parents, especially their moms, say “OK that’s it, you’re out of here. Go find your own way if you’re so damn smart, Mr. know it all.” and sends the little bugger packing. These are bears that are the equivalent of adolescent to teen age bears. One bear year is equal to ½ human year. That’s two bear years per human year. So if you got a bear cub for your first birthday and you’re fifty now, you bear is a hundred years old. Leave him alone. Don’t ask him to do bear tricks and run and fetch the ball. He’s not going to do it. He’s old. And Cranky. He is more likely to tear your throwing arm off and tell you to go fetch the ball yourself.

By the same token if you were given a Hamster when you were born, their age is 11¼ years to one of ours so if you’re fifty that hamster is 562½ years old. If you ask it to get in that wheel one more time, well we won’t even go there.

This bear above was caught trying to steal the red jeep of one of our senior advisers here at The Institute and had already hot-wired it and was trying to find a good station on the radio when luckily it was spotted. All we can say is this is an example of poor parenting by it’s mother and father and will eventually lead it into a larger life of crime if it isn’t stopped.

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After being hit by pine cones and yelled at from the registered and insured owner of this vehicle it nonchalantly moved away from the vehicle but took time to stop and blow raspberries and make rude gestures before retreating further up the hillside. This is a bad bear in the making.

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After it found a spot in the boulders to watch for another opportunity to do a mischief the staff and The Director held a meeting titled “What To Do About Bad Bears and Is It Ethical To Smack Them Around a Bit”. As you might imagine there were several strongly held beliefs about this. We decided that since The Institutes motto is “Do No Harm Unless You Gotta” we went to our Department of Solving Unusual Problems and asked our people there to come up with a solution to Bad Bears.

They did and it’s a doozy. Not only will it rid us of bad bears but we see a huge potential for making some money here. This is how it works, we call it “Bear Strips”, like in Fly strips you buy to put up in your milking room at the farm. These are really sticky, I mean really sticky, pieces of film-like material scented with a smell that flies like, such as Old rotting meat or Essence of Modern Politicians, so that as soon as the fly smells it, it goes right to the strip, gets snared by the sticky but smelly goo that covers the film and that’s it, they’re done.  After the strip is filled with deceased flies you take it down and put up a new one. Works like a charm and the sight of dozens of fly filled strips hanging around produces a nice ambiance while you work.

What our people did was develop a thin canvas like film that is tough enough to hold a snarling bear entrapped on its sticky surface and coat it with our new proprietary coating called “Bear Snare”. It can hold up to a dozen bears actually if both sides of the strip are used. The super strong strips are approximately 3½ feet wide and eleven feet long and are hung on tripod-like structures in places bears like to go. When the bear strip is full or before the health department and the Fish and Game folks do their inspections we simply take down the Bear Strip, roll it up and put it in the Recycling bin down at the bottom of the hill. No bears are hurt with these revolutionary new Bear Strips except maybe when they pull the strip off down at the Recycling center but that’s a problem for them to solve. We’ve done our part.

There was one small problem when one of our interns accidentally brushed up against a Bear Strip on his way to the field latrines and became entangled. They are still trying to extricate him from the strip without losing that ¼” deep skin layer that comes off along with the strip. We had classes and put up warnings that Bear Strips were in use but apparently this guy liked the smell of modern politicians, We don’t know, he’s been sedated since he started screaming. But setting that aside our new Bear Strips are working marvelously. Our bear numbers are down, we’ve had fewer vehicles stolen and all in all it’s worked out well. We’re fairly far along in manufacturing our Bear Strips. Our marketing program is ramping up and the tripods used to hang the Bear Strips are just going into production. Like my old man used to say “If you find yourself in hot water, take a bath.” that’s what we do here at The Institute. We make lemonade.

If You are interested in obtaining some of our patent applied for Bear Strips, They’re new! They’re Fun! They Work! Contact our in-house Sales Representative on our new Toll Free number 1-808- StopBadBearsNow. Ask about our extended payment plan and our pamphlet titled “Fun Things To Do With Bear Hair”.

* 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 he Institute, Nevermind.

 

 

Ninth Annual National Get Outdoors Day

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Well, don’t we feel silly. Today, as no doubt all of you know, is the 9th Annual National Get Outdoors Day. That’s right. Snuck right up on you didn’t it. To be honest I didn’t know about the other 8 annual ones that have passed already. I must have been outdoors doing something.

A very good friend clued me in this morning about it so I quick jumped on Google and found out she wasn’t lying. There really is a National Get Outdoors Day, and it seems everybody is quite proud of it. This is what they say, “Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are again teaming up to host the 9th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. On Saturday, June 11, 2016, these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently under served populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors.”

Gob-smacked, that’s what I was. And as the leader of one of America’s greatest learning, teaching, researching, exploring, and publishing organizations, more better known as *The Institute, I feel like we have let down a huge portion of the American Public that looks to us for guidance and up-to-date  announcements of worthwhile things that are happening.

So we did what we always do when we feel the need for some expert counseling and guidance, not to mention therapy to assuage some of the guilt we feel for letting down our readers. Above is our ‘go to’ specialist in the world of therapy, Dr. Kai Ote. A Jungian and recent graduate of “Become a Therapist for Fun and Profit” online college and Snack shop. We cannot begin to remember the number of hours spent in his office telling him our tales of woe, and of the staggering numbers of problems we have running a worldwide organization like ours. The staff problems, about which we go into excruciating detail, and how it takes all of our energy to keep the interns from revolting. Not to mention the disappointment and frustration from being turned down by the government for yet one more grant to do our valuable work. All of this and more we tell him until you would think a normal therapist would lose interest and strangle you from sheer boredom.

But as you can tell by the expression on his face, he revels in helping us, hanging on our every word, showing you by his expression how he feels about you. We don’t know what we’d do without him.

After droning on and on about how we forgot about National Get Outdoors Day we asked him for some advice, “What should we do, Doc?” and as always his response was dead on. “Uhmm”, he replied, “Get Outdoors.”

See what I mean, he’s worth every penny. So we can only pass on this invaluable advice and hope that you follow it. “Get Outdoors, you’ll feel better, and the feds won’t come down on you.” That’s always a plus.

* 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.

 

The To Do List

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The To Do list. Everybody’s got one. Even here at The World Renowned headquarters of *The Institute. Our time is usually spent investigating scientific mysteries, discovering new frontiers in Math, Geography, the Arts, building our own Hyperloop out near Cleartop Mesa, numbering the stars visible in our night sky with Roman Numerals for easier identification, discovering new facets of Origami, research of all types, publishing, finding out new ways to have fun with cast iron, the list is endless.

All of that activity takes a lot of  manpower, Man/woman power (NOTE: OK, this whole man/woman thing is getting awkward, we’re changing it to Manoman power for clarification. That means everyone, man, woman, or some combination of both whether they’re equal or not, are going to be under the heading of ‘manoman’. We had some flack from some our middle-aged female staff who were lobbying for WoMan power but The Director said no freaking way that sounded too much like runaway feminism, so Manoman it is. After all this is a benevolent dictatorship here, not some loosely run democracy. ) manoman power to get everything done. As all of our staff has some incredible responsibility they have to complete if they want to eat and can’t be excused to work on the To Do list, we have had to take steps. We have had to go outside our organization for the first time to find qualified To Do list completers. That’s why we brought back Aunt Pheeb and Uncle Skid.

Some of you may remember them from previous posts. We swore we would never again on this Earth have anything to do with Uncle Skid. Aunt Pheeb too, except she does have some redeeming qualities and is the only one who can control keep Uncle Skid in line. She has got this voodoo power over him and if things get too weird she will withhold her patented, free will offering monkey-love and that does the trick. Skid pops right back on the straight and narrow then. So they come as a package.

Uncle Skid just got out of seven years of rehab and seems ok, but if we know anything about him we know that he is a recidivist of the highest order. That’s why we have closed down the Buenos Noches Cantina on campus for the duration. This nearly caused a riot amongst our interns but we had to err on the side of safety. Because if Uncle Skid gets into the Everclear, ain’t nobody safe. Even Aunt Pheeb can’t do anything with him until the following Thursday.

Apparently Skid got some training in construction while he was away and consequently we assigned him the task of repairing the fire escape that leads out of the back entrance of the main campus area here at The Institute. The picture above is after Skid worked on it. Granted it looks a little rough at first glance but it is better than the rope that was hanging there before. Skid has been in the office every single day wanting funding for three 60′ aluminum ladders so you don’t have to scramble up the rock face to get to the bottom of the fire escape. Plus a little extra for the wire to lash the three together so they’re long enough. So far our cost and regulatory department has been reluctant to release the $2800 and change to do this. That and no one will sign off on Uncle Skid going off campus with that kind cash. We’ve had to up our insurance just to have him on the property as it is. So it looks as if we’ll have to use the rope again. Just to get to the bottom of the fire escape anyway.

Aunt Pheeb has been the rock of that family. If it wasn’t for her the whole bunch of them would have fallen on rack and ruin. She has supplemented the family income with her distillery and quilt repair business. And since she installed that brand new cigarette rolling machine her income has risen dramatically. That’s good because the 73% we skim receive off the top helps our coffers too. And what with times being like they are everything helps.

So far we’ve been proceeding with cautious optimism with Uncle Skid. Aunt Pheeb went out and purchased 37 of the newest strongest Abus 37RK/80 Granit Extreme Security Steel Padlocks made in Germany and available through Taylor Lock & Security Co. to add to the welded shut doors and windows of the Buenos Noches Cantina. These padlocks meet highest security standards and are considered to be among the most secure padlocks in the world. Their tensile resistance is over 6 tons. We thought that it was overkill but then she told us that Skid had also taken lock-picking classes while in rehab so we authorized her to get a few more just in case.

In the last four months we have been able to cross one item off our To Do list. Well half cross it off. We still have to deal with the aluminum ladder issue. We have had reports that maybe Aunt Pheeb has been a little free with the results of her distillery, selling small bottles of hooch out of the back door of her quilt repair store instead of to her regular customers in town. But we haven’t been able to catch her. The security people we set to watch the backdoor have told us through blurry eyes and slurred speech that they haven’t seen anything yet but then they were some of the biggest complainers when we took the campus dry. There’s always something.

Maybe, just maybe we’ll get some real productivity out of Uncle Skid. You never know. Seven years in rehab ought to have had some effect, but then you’re talking about Skid here, so we’ll wait and see. And keep our fingers and toes crossed. And our insurance paid up.

* 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 after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind.