Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

VIPs For A Day (part one of more parts)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Thursday, my husband’s brilliant ability to find awesome entertainment deals on the internet paid off once again.  He booked us a VIP tour at King’s Island (click for a view of the rides and attractions!) near Cincinnati Ohio, and we spent the entire day at this awesome amusement park!  The VIP tour included our own personal guide; a park employee who followed us around all day leading us up the exits of every ride so that we got to bypass the line and ride without waiting – in the seat of our own choosing. We also got to wear lanyards with VIP passes on them (think of the movie Wayne’s World when Wayne and Garth get backstage passes to see Alice Cooper.  They wear them around their necks and proudly display their lanyards, flashing them into the faces of nearly everyone they encounter, hilarious!) – and tempting to reenact, but there were some people in line who were upset that we got to board without waiting in line; I wouldn’t want to rub it in.  But I would recommend the VIP tour to anyone who wants to go to King’s Island  – it includes a guide (you can even make him do things, like hold your stuff and go on rides, haha!), no lines (sometimes a minimal 5 minute wait at the gate while the ride operators find a place to stick you in, not really an issue at all – there is plenty to watch for those 5 minutes), an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch, unlimited fountain drinks throughout the day, ice cream, a backstage tour of The Beast (the longest wooden roller coaster in the world!), and 2 ride pictures.  A great deal, especially if you want to sit through my following narrative to see if it’s a place you’d want to visit:

The lady on the phone told us to get to the park at 8:30 am, so we were actually early and had to wait in a car line to get in.  When we got to the park, we got shuffled around and had to wait a bit more – it seems that this part of the tour could be tweaked a little bit.  We didn’t get our guide and get on rides until about 9:45.  Still early (park opens to the general public at 10), but we had about an extra hour of doing nothing at the park (could have slept an hour longer!), so perhaps they should tweak this part of the tour to make it run more smoothly for the guest – everything else about the tour is really great though!  So anyway, our guide comes to meet us, and we gave him our list of rides and follow him around the park.  Actually, since it was before 10, only the park’s brand new showcase ride and The Beast were open.  So we began with the Diamondback – which I had named as the ride that scared me the most on the way over.  But I loved it!  It was so smooth and all those fast drops were so fun in the cool open air.  The Beast was another story.  I liked it, but it was very rattly and jerky.  Going back on The Beast later in the day and sitting in the front row changed the experience for me, however, and we ended up riding it a lot!  Once we discovered the front car of The Beast and I switched sides of the train with hubby, I enjoyed the ride immensely.  It’s a 4 minute, 50 second ride through the forest on a wooden roller coaster at speeds of over 60 mph.  The subtle sound of chirping birds accompanied by the naturalistic scents of the surrounding forest and the wooden tunnels where the coaster whizzes is indescribable.  A comment on themeparkinsider.com says about The Beast, “Running through the thick forest at 65 mph on an intense wooden coaster…about as close to riding a real beast as you can get. Classic ride that always delivers.” – I have to agree.  They built another wooden coaster at King’s Island called Son of the Beast, but it closed in June when people complained it was too rough.  From the printed King’s Island info, I learned that Son of the Beast was a looping wooden coaster – interesting.  Oh well, maybe it’ll open some day for me to try.  But back to the backstage tour of The Beast – very cool.  We watched some trains descend the first large drop which actually leads directly underground into a tunnel.  We walked further into the forest (noticed some long-gone riders’ possessions along the way: broken sunglasses, coins, hats, etc.  Didn’t see any cell phones, but then again, we saw the lost cell phone display they have in the Diamondback area – a big clear box FULL of cell phones, ipods, Blackberries, PDAs, etc. ), and we learned some interesting facts while watching riders fly past us – and boy, were they surprised to see us walking around back there in the forest!! As for the facts – the entire coaster was built from scratch on site; unlike many of today’s coasters which are shipped into the parks in segments.  The Beast was built around and including the existing rolling terrain of the Miami River valley in lower Ohio, and as I mentioned, it goes underground.  It has speed monitors built into parts of the track, so if a train is going to fast, it will automatically break to slow itself down.  I gratefully noticed this while riding, and it helped calm my concerns of flying off the track.  This coaster goes so fast into those tunnels – WOW!  For all these reasons and more, it’s a coaster like NO other!  Here’s a pic – looks like something I’ll have to try in the fall; the forest looks beautiful during peak season for color-changing leaves:

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Ironically, the exact opposite thing happened with the Diamondback –  I loved it the first time, and then I tried the front row which was absolutely terrifying!  I  won’t be riding the front of the Diamondback again.  Careening down that  first 74° drop (!) practically face-down at over 80 mph with only a red thing between my legs to keep me from plummeting to the earth made me feel like I was going to die for sure.

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And not in a good way, which is ironically enough sometimes the reason why lots of crazy people like to ride coasters.  Being in the front seat on Diamondback makes it look like the the track disappears beneath you, then before you know it, you’re flying in the air getting lift out of your seat and you have nothing on either side nor in front of you – yikes!  I’ve grown too old to feel invincible, so I put a cap on my thrill-seeking.  I enjoy a good coaster, but I also have my limits.  If you are a thrill-seeker roller coaster enthusiast who just can’t get enough, try the front car on Diamondback!  And a side note, the guy who gave us the behind the scenes tour of The Beast is the guy who thought of the name for Diamondback; it was an interesting experience to have something like that come up during a conversation.

I think I’ll stop there for now…  it was a big day, and I’d like to write up more and get more pictures up – and yes, I  do have those free ride pictures we got of Chris and I on The Beast and Diamondback.  Am I willing to post them on the internet?  Maybe you’ll have to read my other King’s Island posts to find out!

SAVE OHIO LIBRARIES!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s a catch-22.  In this horrible economy, people are using the free resources provided by their local libraries more than ever.  However, in this horrible economy, governments are having trouble funding the free resources provided by local libraries.  Here in Ohio, Governor Strickland is contemplating a new state budget cut that would reduce our libraries’ funding by an additional 52%, and that’s on top of the 20% cut they’ve already seen in 2009.  With this kind of reduction in funding, obviously the libraries would not be able to function on the same level on which they are currently functioning, nor with the same hours.  If you live in Ohio, you can help the governor and congressmen know how harmful library funding cuts would be to each and every community in the state.  Here is some contact info to help you do  your part in saving the libraries:

Click here to  Contact the Governor’s Office
Contact the Governor’s Office by phone @ (614)466-3555
Fax the Governor @ (614)466-9354

State Senator Steve Buehrer
Phone: (614) 466-8150
Fax: (614) 466-4250 ATTENTION STEVE BUEHRER
Email: SD01@senate.state.oh.us
For more information, click here:
www.saveohiolibraries.com

Thank you for your help!  Closing library branches is harmful to communities in many ways and would affect everyone, even those who don’t use the libraries themselves.

Birthday Miracle

Posted in Kids, Uncategorized on February 4th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

A few months ago, I learned I had a second cousin in Florida who was killed in a horrific car crash.  She was on her way to a fun outing with her daughter when out of nowhere, a drunk driver (mid-afternoon on a weekday – not that there’s ever any appropriate time to drink and drive, but still) who was going the wrong way on the expressway hit her car head-on, killing her and gravely injuring her young daughter.  The little girl persevered, came out of her coma and re-learned to walk and talk.  She was recently in the news again because she just turned 5 years old and sadly, she still thinks her mother is coming back.  Her courage and strength is inspiring, so I’d like to share this clip of her on the Florida news.  Please keep Summer in your thoughts and prayers.  Click here to see the news story about Summer’s 5th birthday.  And please, please, if you’re going to drink, always have another mode of transportation set up ahead of time!

It WAS A Very Merry Christmas, Thank You!

Posted in holidays, Uncategorized on December 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Christmas was wonderful, thanks for asking!  Our 8 9 year old and our 2 year old were awake first on Christmas morning, and they crept downstairs to see if Santa came.  He did, and surprisingly, they waited very patiently until Mom and Dad were ready to roll out of bed to open their presents.  Christmas Eve was a late night, and because we weren’t really being pestered, we stayed in bed until about 9:45 Christmas morning.  After that, it took A LOT of prodding to wake our middle daughter who is 4.  Believe it or not, even telling her to check if Santa came didn’t do the trick…  she was apparently tired!  Like I said, late night last night.

Finally she was awake and excited, so then the kids opened their gifts, and they were really happy with what Santa had picked out.  So happy, in fact, that they were really good during the day, and we had few fights amongst the natives – a rarity in our house.  Their favorite toys seem to be these large inflatable balls with handles that they sit on and bounce.  I guess Santa didn’t realize how annoying it would be to have 3 little girls bouncing all around the house 🙂

So what did I get?  My husband got me a game based upon our favorite tv show, The Office.  A good friend had gotten us another board game (with a dvd as a big part of the game) based upon the show, and so now we have both games – the complete set.  I love it.  I was looking forward to playing it all day, and it’s easy to see that the game is REALLY cool.  It’s different than your average trivia game; lots of added elements, making it a stand-out favorite board game.  But then again, we feel the show is a stand-out favorite.  My husband also got me a Snuggie – ever heard of them?  Snuggies are big blankets with sleeves, essentially.  That way you can do many a chore (or even fun things, like changing channels on the remote or blogging) while still being covered by a blanket.  We’re waiting for mine to arrive, and once they do, they will be an especially appreciated gift since our electric bill doubled between last month and this month – must be all those space heaters we were using to supplement our giant furnace because we thought our gas bill was too high.  Just wait til we get that bill in the mail this month… ugh.  At least it didn’t come on Christmas Eve like I was sure it would.

So what did I get for my wonderful hubby?  It’s lame I know, but months ago while I was still pregnant with our son, I found a picture frame that says “I get my good looks from my Daddy”.  I liked it immediately and bought it, and it’s ironic that at that time, I thought we were going to have a baby girl instead of a boy which would make more sense when it comes to the photo frame.  But then we found out we were indeed having a boy, and so I was able to give my husband the picture frame with a picture of our son inside.  A good gift, but I had wanted to get him something else.

I almost asked a friend to get something for him from me.  My husband usually wants-for-nothing, but this year, he did spy a few gadgets for his wish list.  Since he’s usually with me when we’re shopping at the stores that carry the items, I was going to ask a favor of someone to pick them up.  But alas, my plan was foiled when I told my husband (and the captain of our family finances) I need some money for Christmas shopping.  He basically vetoed the idea of me getting him anything, and I was under the impression it was mutual, that we were going to focus on the kids this year and not get each other anything.  But he sneakily got me some really good gifts, and I’m not going to let this happen again – I’ll be squirreling away some money here and there until I have enough to buy him a birthday present in June – HA!

Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!

The Scary Clown Sucessfully Sold Burgers

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23rd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On another tangents.org blog, justj has been talking about cheeseburgers, namely White Castles and Burger Buddies (aka Burger Bundles), an ’80’s Burger King product.  I found an old Burger Bundles commercial on youtube and posted the link on his blog in the comments section of the cheeseburger post.  While I was looking around on youtube, I found this old vintage McDonald’s commercial where Ronald looks like something out of a horror movie.  Regardless of what his early incarnation looked like, the clown worked for them in helping to create one of the most successful companies of all time.

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Call Of Cthulu

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in a role playing game – sort of like Dungeons and Dragons, I’m told.  This one was called “Call of Cthulu”, and we played it on two separate Saturdays for about 5 hours each.  We began by choosing a character, and then we used the dice to determine many different details of our characters; like their income, height, strength, looks, smarts, etc.  Along the journey, we made decisions about where to go and who to speak to – that sort of thing.  Sometimes the roll of the dice would help make decisions, and sometimes we were left to our own judgement.  Overall, it was a really fun experience, although not a hobby I could pick up right now because it’s not something you can do while kids are around.  I’m lucky I found the time to put the hours into this game that I did.  But it was fun, and the guy who ran it wrote up the entire thing novel-style.  So here it is, from the website:
http://www.yogsothoth.com/modules.phpname=Journal&file=search&bywhat=aid&exact=1&forwhat=Max_Writer
If you go to the site, the journal entries concerning our game are called “The Haunter in the Hills”, and there are 4 parts total.  Here is the journal in its entirety:

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , ,

Unlike previous posts of mine, this one is being written to compliment the status of gas prices these days.  Here in NW Ohio, we ‘re paying $1.99 for gas – it was actually weird looking to see a 1 up there on the price board at the gas station.

But I’m really happy about it, of course, seeing how gas prices have been cut in half from only a short time ago.  All of a sudden, it’s taking me twice as long to pump gas – but I am NOT complaining!  Also, it’s now feasible to round up to the next dollar amount when topping off your car’s gas tank.  Did you notice that when gas prices were so high, one squeeze of the gas pump cost, like 6 or 7 cents?  If I wanted $15 worth of gas and I stopped the pump at $14.96 or above, there was no way to get it so I’d be paying the $15.  One squeeze of the pump and my total was now $15.03 or above all of a sudden!  So now, even though it takes me twice as long to pump gas, I appreciate being able to choose a dollar amount to spend and be able to stick to it.  And when I was in Illinois last weekend, I asked my grandpa what he remembers the gas prices being when he owned his gas station way back when.  I don’t know what year he was talking about, but he said he remembers gas being 19¢ per gallon!

What was the reason for the sky-rocketing gas prices, and how did the problem seemingly fix itself?  Something to do with politics, I’m sure, but I don’t really care as long as they keep getting lower.  Since I spent so many posts complaining about the gas prices when they were horrible, I thought I’d try to send out a little bit of good karma by noticing and sharing my appreciation for the low gas prices we have now – cross your fingers that they’ll stay!

Vacation Diary – Chapter Two

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, October 20 (Disney’s 2nd birthday!!) – Started off bright and early in Orlando with a time share presentation – yuck.  We’ve been to a few of these, and we try to schedule at least one every time we’re in the Orlando area because they pay well.  This time, we got $100 cash.  It took over 3 hours, but hey, that’s over $30/hour – well worth it in my opinion.  I could go on and on about time share presentations because there are always certain things they do to get you to buy one – there must be a formula to the presentations.  And let’s face it, they’re one of the biggest rip-offs that exist.  The last few we’ve gone to, we’ve played a little game where I think of a random word my husband has to say to the time share people.  This time it was “gondola”.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get the word in because the presentation took much longer than they said it would (big surprise) and we had our friend jamiahsh waiting for us.  This also saw us getting to Epcot later than we would have liked, but we still got to do most of everything we wanted at Epcot.  If you’ve been to a time share presentation (or 2 or 3 or more), then you should check out the South Park episode about it.  I’m not a huge fan of the show, but the time share episode is hilarious.  It was actually recommended to us by a time share salesman once!

The manatees are my favorite thing at Epcot.  My husband makes fun because we have manatees right here at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio, but that’s 3 hours away and I’ve only been there once.  Besides, I’ve been to Epcot a bunch and I’m starting to get to know their manatees.  Last time I was lucky enough to see them hugging!  A peaceful feeling comes over me as I watch them swim.  We did miss the Crush (from Finding Nemo) show, and we meant to go back for it but forget – oh well.  And for those of you who’ve been to Disney World before, you should know that they’ve updated the Spaceship Earth ride – that’s the one in the big huge golfball that is Epcot’s signiture.  I don’t like the new version nearly as much as the old one.  The ride needed updating.  It takes riders through the history of human communication, and ome of the scenes had become outdated as time passed because people don’t communicate in the ways that they visualized we would when the ride was built.  Soarin’ is my favorite ride at Epcot, but it always has HUGE lines.  This time we were able to get a fastpass, but we could only ride once and my husband wasn’t able to ride because our 2 year old was in a Daddy-clingy kind of mood.  We ended the night at Epcot by running all over the park in a desperate search for a soft pretzel.  Our 4-year-old was being so uncharacteristically well-behaved that I was willing to get her anything she wanted, especially since she was asking about it nicely.

Williams County Murders

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24th, 2008 and tagged , , , , ,

The other night some friends and I had a conversation about local murders that have taken place in our county.  Because we are a rural county, murders here are few and far between.  A resident city council member who is also a local historian gives a yearly presentation, usually on Halloween, detailing the murders in Williams County, Ohio.  Because many people know everyone else, he doesn’t cover anything past the 1950’s, but I was able to find some information on my own.  For the incidents that did take place a long time ago, many of the circumstances are interesting as they reflect the moods and cultural attitudes of times past.  Being both a researcher of local history and a true crime buff, I’ve attended several of these presentations and decided to share the notes I’ve taken for those who are interested:

Williams County Murders

6/20/1847 – W. Unity – David Schamp murdered by Andrew F. Tyler and Daniel Heckerthorne.  Buried in German cemetary on Cty Rd. K.  Botched ransom kidnapping – family farm is 1/2 mi. W of US127.  4 pg article in Bryan Times on 150th anniversary.  In 1939, Ralph Gall wrote several articles in Inside Detective Magazine (June, July, Aug) about the crime.
3/23/1865 – Bryan – Conrad Rutman murdered by unknown – found hung in outhouse
12/1/1868 – West Jefferson – Unknown female infant by unknown
12/3/1873 – Bryan – Peter Himes by Ben Evarts
4/8/1875 – Bryan N. Main St. – unknown infant found in cigar box just N of RR trks
5/17/1877 – Denmark – unknown male infant
2/21/1878 – Bryan – unknown male infant
7/25/1878 – W Unity – Infant Loveless by mother, Lucy Loveless.  Father of infant was mother’s brother in law.
4/7/1880 – Edgerton – Unknown f infant
6/3/1880 – Edgerton – James Marshall by unknown
9/11/1880 – Bryan, dwntwn, N side of square – John Burchell, Jr. by William Everett – gut cut in fight
5/2/1883 – Melbern – Jacob Nihart killed with ax by mentally ill wife, Saloma Nihart.  Both buried in Brown cemetary.
7/21/1889 – Edgerton – Sarah Hoadley (71) and Christian Newman (72) by Hiram Hoadley, Jr. (45).  Murder / Suicide – in process of divorce, didn’t want to pay $2,000.  Divorce announcement in same issue of newspaper as the murders.
8/26/1891 – Montpelier – Milton Hogue by Perry Yoder
1/11/1892 – W. Unity – Infant Hayes – female, by Dr. Frank O. Hart
2/20/1892 – Bryan, SW corner of Beech and High.  Tom Murphy age 63 by unknown
5/4/1892 – Bryan.  Alley next to Christmas Manor went thru to High St. before Central School building was there.  Arthur Brown, about 22 yrs old, was at a saloon bragging about having a lot of money.  He was murdered by George and Michael Burchell, Walter Plummer, and William Elkins.  Witnessed by little girl from window of her house on W Butler.  Story featured in “Native Sons Gone Wrong” booklet.  Victim buried in Old Pulaski cemetery across from Winery.
5/8/1898 – Florence – Unknown Male infant
7/2/1904 – Bryan, just N of overpass.  Noah Schartzer shot by unknown.  Buried in Brown cemetery.  Case of mistaken identity.  Stopped and checked every train between S Bend and Toledo.
6/7/1905 – Montpelier – unknown infant
9/21/1905 – Montpelier, E of Bryan on RR trks – August Julius by unknown
2/7/1914 – Bryan, W side of Portland St. 2nd blk. Portland and Mulberry – murder/suicide – Blanche Stauffer by Charles Stauffer.  12 pg suicide letter – “She was a hard person to live with.”
11/10/1914 – Pioneer – Joe Varada by Joe Dohon.  argument over wheelbarrow, shovel over head, both Hungarians.
3/14/16 – W. Unity – Mrs. Andre by Wilson Andre
6/12/18 – Montpelier – Alex Grant by James Morgan.  Morgan (Afrcn/Amer.) wanted to get from Chicago to Detroit, didn’t have any $, so he hid in the btrm on a train where Grant was conductor.  Morgan was executed in Columbus, picture from OH Dept. of Prisons
9/29/27 – Montpelier – James Andrews (Afrcn/Amer.) by unknown
12/11/27 – Stryker – Celina Huber by Camiel Clark who was fined $125 for liquor violations.  Huber, age 39, was cut during fight, went to lay down, bled to death.
1/4/32 – Bryan – Fred Wonser, Jr. and Margaret Wonser by Lewis Wonser
12/28/36 – Bryan – Frank Lewis by William White
12/1/38 – Edgerton – Vern Eck, age 42 by Nona Goeltzenluchter.  Murder-suicide.  Having an affair, though both married to other people.  She was accusing him of seeing yet another woman.
6/14/45 – Pioneer – Murder/Suicide.  Mary Jane, Earl, Alice May, Betty Lou, Alva Stoner by their father, Alfred Stoner, age 38, just gotten back from WWII, distant cousin of Mark Kelly (murders in Wms Cty speaker).  Drove himself and kids into gravel pit S of Pioneer while wife was in hospital giving birth to baby 6.  Over 1,000 people showed up to watch the search for the bodies.
9/19/46 – Bryan – Emily Abernathy, age 30 by James Engle, age 21.  Jim was drinking a coke across the street at the bowling alley when the body of his victim was found in the library – rumor has it he watched them secure the crime scene as he was sipping his coke.   She had been strangled, beaten, and cut with a pen knife, died from strangulation.  Jim confessed – said he wanted to see what it was like to kill someone.  Paroled in 1974, moved to Bryan in 1989, currently resides in local nursing home.  Crime was chronicled in tv show “The Big Story”, but the show upset Bryanites.
5/5/1948 – Bryan – John (age 56) and Pearl (age 63) Gabriel by Ervin “Bud” Ingle, age 14, “King of 8th grade”.  They were his neighbors, and he wanted to borrow their car.  There is a rumor that Mrs. Gabriel liked young boys, and John did the killing.  Years later, Bud was a chauffer for the governor, and the governor thought highly of him and wrote a book.  There was a photo of Pearl’s body in the newspaper.
1/2/50 – Edgerton – Helen Bigger by Vernon O. Bigger – father in law of victim, possible molestation.
5/5/50 – Melbern – George and Evalina Fisher by their grandson, Jack Hartman.
9/12/51 – West Unity – Celia Walters by Edwin Walters
8/18/59 – Pioneer – James W. Elliott by unknown
9/11/59 – Blakeslee – William Bigger by Harold H. Bostater
12/29/61 – Blakeslee – Howard Tanner by Ned Eugene Tanner
8/18/63 – Montpelier – Dean Allen Nichols by David W. Nichols
6/22/64 – Pioneer – Dr. William Crall by Frank Patalon
5/21/66 – Montpelier – John McCamis by Raymond Burgess
8/31/68 – Stryker – Eben Henry Harney by William O. Bolster
10/12/71 – Stryker – John F. Meisner by Thomas E. Elliott
9/30/72 – Stryker – Judi Hagerman by Jon Garber
4/28/76 – Edgerton – Deborah Unger by Jeffrey Ailiff
3/15/77 – Bryan – Danny Hanisko by Lawrence E. Finn
6/19/90 – West Unity – Genieve Willene and Orlo E. Ansley by William Ansley
2/2/91 – Montpelier – Travis Pospeshil by Timothy Kelley.  Invol. mansltr. released from prison 9/11/06
2/7/92 – Montpelier – Torilyn Contreras by Jonathon Leggett – Invol. Mansltr.
9/30/96 – Melbern – Brenda Sue Kafai by Rocky W. Kafai – invol. mansltr. released 9/23/06
2/15/98 – Edgerton – Beth Garber by Shane Frisbie
12/6/98 – Edgerton – Terri D. Swearengin by William M. Swearengin
12/7/00 – Holiday City – Mary Kosier by Jason Crawford and James Jones Jr. – they kidnapped Mary who was an employee of Econolodge near toll road for robbery, killed her near covered bridge
6/30/01 – Bryan – Thomas G. Flint by Linda Ames (**NOTE** – a reader left a comment below containing additional info about this event.  I have not verified the source and am still in the process of research)

The REAL Bambi and Thumper

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I’ll admit I got these super-cute animal pictures from an email foward…  they are just too cute…  The skeptic in me says, are they real?  I looked on snopes.com and didn’t see anything, but in this age of photoshop, you never know.  If they are photoshopped, the creator did an excellent job…  Let’s pretend they’re real and that these animal buddies have such a wonderful friendship that it spanned at least 2 seasons as the pictures suggest – they’re too cute not to believe it!