Are you ready to take a respite from all the political wrangling? I mean, enough is enough! It's time to think of something else. Sometimes it's refreshing to just take a deep breath and think of nothing very important. 


For instance, did you realize next Monday is National Pickle Day? Not only is November 14 a holiday, but there's a nifty way to mark the occasion. “Pickle enthusiasts everywhere can now light a candle in honor of their favorite vinegar-soaked treat. Vlasic has teamed up with a home fragrances company to give the pickle people what they want: a candle that looks and smells like a real jar of pickles.” The cost is a mere $29 per jar. (https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/vlasic-pickle-scented-candles)


Pickles are a bit tame for some people. A man in California likes spicy things and he just set a Guinness World Record. “He consumed ten Carolina Reaper chilies -- the hottest peppers in the world -- in 33.15 seconds.”


How hot are these peppers? “Carolina Reapers are known as the hottest chilies in the world, registering 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units, the method used to calculate the spiciness of food. Jalapeno peppers, by comparison, typically measure 2,000 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units.” (https://www.arcamax.com/entertainment/weirdnews/s-2746965?)


Still in the food realm, by now you've undoubtedly heard that there may be a shortage of turkeys this Thanksgiving. A lot figures into this equation, but a significant reason for the low supply is a bit alarming. “A particularly virulent strain of avian flu is a major problem for the country’s turkey farms. More than six million turkeys have died from the disease in 2022 alone, and that number is expected to rise in the coming weeks as outbreaks continue.” This year, tracking down your bird early could pay off.



Some people may opt to substitute chicken for turkey this year. Americans love their chicken. Every year, 9.2 billion chickens are consumed. That's twenty chickens per person, about ninety-nine pounds worth. Around 900 million of those cluckers are are of the precooked rotisserie variety. Costco accounts for 106 million of those and they've been priced at $4.99 for two decades. (https://link.thehustle.co/view/5f3bd7ac2c81bf63145d623ahfw1u.3luh/e5ce6a38)


If you're a deer hunter, you could have another option – venison. If you hunt with a bow and arrow, the record set by a man in Denmark may be of interest. 'A professional archer from Denmark broke a Guinness World Record by shooting seven arrows in a row through a .39 inch-wide keyhole. The arrows were without feathers for the attempt because feathers would have become caught in the hole.' This is one of those “see it to believe it” things at: https://youtu.be/eeEzULSsyuQ


Menu  aside, most holiday dinner tables have a nice centerpiece. Flowers are popular, but you probably want to avoid one variety from Eastern Connecticut State University – a corpse flower. “It recently bloomed for the first time in years, releasing its famously foul stench for only a brief time. When it happens, it's basically a surprise and it only lasts 24 to 48 hours. The unique scent resembles a combination of a dead mouse, a rotting cabbage and sewage." (https://www.arcamax.com/entertainment/weirdnews/s-2744610)


Speaking of decorations, a piece of art on a wall is pretty common. Here's a tip. Always hang the piece right side up. Apparently, this is can be a challenge even for experts. “According to a curator at a German museum, an abstract painting by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian has been displayed upside down for seventy-seven years at a number of museums. The red, yellow, red, and blue adhesive tape lines in the abstract painting, which has a white background and intersects at right angles, are supposed to resemble the skyline of New York.” (https://geartape.com/art-world-jumbled-as-famous-painting-displayed-incorrectly-for-77-years/)


Abstract art is outside my wheelhouse, you too? Some art created by a dog is more my speed. “A one-eared dog named Van Gogh is channeling his namesake by using his tongue to create works of art at a Connecticut rescue. Jaclyn Gartner, the founder of the rescue group, said she taught Van Gogh to paint with his tongue by putting paint and canvas into a plastic bag coated with peanut butter.”


Scoff if you must, but the rescue held a gallery show and thirty of his works sold for $40 each to benefit the rescue.” (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2022/11/04/Van-Gogh-dog-paints-with-tongue/6781667581659/)


Finally, with the holidays approaching it's a good idea to make sure everything around the house is in proper working order. As the saying goes: “If it moves duct tape it, if I does not move WD-40 it, if it requires a hammer you have an electrical problem.” 

For the WD-40 part of the home maintenance strategy, a recent article detailed some options: “Surprisingly Genius Uses for WD-40 That We Wish We Knew Sooner.” (https://www.theecofeed.com/en/genius-knew-surprisingly-uses-wish?)


One suggestion could come in handy before you wrap gifts. WD-40 removes price tags and stickers. “If you're super lucky, you'll remove the label in one piece without leaving behind a little half-torn paper. But in most cases, there is always a chance of the sticky residue that is quite difficult to remove. Instead of removing the sticky residue with your fingernails, you can apply WD-40 and pull the sticker off with ease. This magic product makes the peeling process incredibly easy.” 


Other uses include: unsticking zippers, removing crayon marks, getting glue out of a carpet, and prying apart Lego pieces. “You'll be surprised to find out that there are a lot of more uses of WD-40 that can potentially make your life simpler and easier.” 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews