Monday, December 22, 2008

The Manly Art of Gift Wrapping

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men -- Gaspar, Balthazar, and Herb -- went to see the baby Jesus and, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact: there is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise.
2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion, this is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know. One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it." The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.) If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:

Gift Wrapping Tips for Men:

* Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

* The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack. If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Author Unknown (but definitely male)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sandhills Sun Pillar

November 21, 2008 -- A nice Sun Pillar. The picture was taken through my car windshield, obviously.

-- Dalton Hammond

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pinehurst - A Space Odyssey

The south veranda at Pinehurst Country Club overlooks the huge practice putting green which is guarded day and night by the iconic statue of the Little Putterboy. His realm of dark fairways and bunkers lay just beyond, in the late twilight. My target star Fomalhaut, the Eye of the Fish, twinkled dimly just above the horizon. Nearby a group of about eight young male resort guests were finishing their beers at a veranda table. "New England", I guessed, by their accents.

I was glad that I had chosen valet parking since the parking lots were filled for the annual Pinehurst Pro Shop "Member Preview Sale" which had started just a few minutes ago. Already there was a line of shoppers stretched from the St. Andrews banquet room which had been turned into a clearance warehouse, all the way down the hallway. A friend would be waiting for me at 6:30 at the other end of the building in the Members' Club which was featuring their immensely popular Spaghetti Night. My scales this morning told me I was back to 187 pounds and so my diet would be forgotten for the night. A lot of the resort food tastes like resort food but the spaghetti is the best I've ever had, even my own homemade. After dinner I would try to find some bargains on the 65%-off tables at the pro shop sale, but I had something to do before any of these things.

According to my atomic watch which is accurate to one second in 300 million years, it was time, and right on time I spotted a yellowish dot of light moving northeast in the northwest sky headed right over the heads of my beer-drinking new buddies.

"Any of you guys interested in satellites?" I asked, pointing to the sky above them. They saw the orbiting International Space Station right away and amidst the obligatory oohs and ahhs I answered their questions about its altitude, distance, and so forth. They were obviously impressed and watched until the satellite faded from view as it entered the 200-mile-high twilight zone. They were gracious, and effusive in their praise.

"Now if you liked that, I've got something more impressive to show you," I said, checking my watch. "Another satellite is heading our way and for TWO SECONDS it will become twice as bright as Venus over there" as I pointed to the very bright planet-beacon which was low in the western sky. "It will happen in two minutes, at 57 seconds past 6:27 pm" and I pointed to a spot in the sky that was a handspan higher than Fomalhaut which we could see, directly above the Little Putterboy. After the Iridium Flare I would have only two minutes to walk to the Member's Club to meet my friend.

I pointed to the sky and counted down the seconds aloud. When I got to ten a faint dot appeared under my finger, clearly visible, everyone saw it, and it began to get brighter. In two more seconds it looked like a flashbulb had gone off in space. You could have read a newspaper by it, I thought. After about two seconds it faded away and I waved my goodbyes to the resort guests and strode off to make my appointment amidst the pandemonic barrage of cheers, applause, and side comments -- some of which bear repeating:

"Hey, where'd he go?" "Who was that guy, a member or a rocket scientist?" "Maybe he was God!"

You really must try the Pinehurst spaghetti sometime.

-- Dalton Hammond

Sunday, November 02, 2008

545 People

By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's
responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single
domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow
that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible.

They and they alone, have the power.

They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

(Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper)

Daylight Losing Time

"Just this exact same time last week it was an hour from now."

-- Dalton Hammond

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bob Hope on Democrats

From the 1940 Bob Hope movie "The Ghost Breakers"...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Raleigh NC Area Home For Sale

2800+ sq. ft. 5Br, 3Ba Cape Cod home on 1.5+ acres just 20 minutes from Raleigh, NC for only $239,000.

Here is the FULL LISTING.

Click on picture for larger view then call Leigh Anne right away at (919) 796-7301.


Link to LAJones Realty

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Financial Crisis: Who's REALLY To Blame?

I had to turn off the TV just 9 minutes into the Vice Presidential Debate. It is painfully clear that both political parties are still trying to place the blame for the nationwide financial crisis on big business and unscrupulous lenders when, in fact, it was our government itself that put enormous pressure on lenders to make the ill-fated 125% home mortgage loans to people who were not capable of making the payments -- in the name of Equal Opportunity.

The [Democratic] Clinton White House sent specific instructions to the FHA and HUD to relax mortgage application qualifications, going so far as to insanely specifically include Food Stamps as qualifying income. The administration then offered large bonuses to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac executives who met or exceeded their goals in this outreach. These were the huge executive bonuses we've read about and they were sponsored by your own Government, not by Big Business.

With such a large ready market in place it was necessary to devise financial instruments to handle it all and that's when the house of cards began to build, as futures and derivatives traders took the mortgage insanity to crisis levels.

It was THE GOVERNMENT and not Big Business who got us all in this mess. Check it out for yourself. You'll find that the real culprits are the same people who go on TV trying to buy your votes by promising change, when they themselves should be changed -- replaced -- by lawmakers and a President who understand business.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Couric's Silence Was More Revealing Than Biden's Blunder

It is becoming harder to even want to believe in an unbiased press.

In a recent interview when Joe Biden told Katie Couric that during the [1929] Stock Market Crash President Franklin Roosevelt went on national television to reassure the American public, Couric never batted an eyelash at the incredible blunder.

If Sarah Palin had said those words Couric would have ripped her to shreds...and you know I'm right about that.

Perhaps Couric's silence was more revealing than Biden's stupidity.

-- Dalton Hammond

BIDEN: "Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence is to demonstrate what he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicating to people ... this is how we can fix this.", Biden said. "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'look, here's what happened.'"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Barack Obama Takes A Smoke Break

Barack Obama smoking a cigarette
What do you mean 'There's no smoking in the White House?'

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike Button

Click the email icon below and share this button with your friends. Or just Copy and Save it. This is going to be a really, really bad storm and I'm willing to try anything. -- Dalton Hammond

We DON'T like Ike button

Saturday, September 06, 2008

McCain or Obama?

Choosing the candidate is much easier than you thought.
Think about it: Who would Osama Bin Laden vote for?
(Shown in alphabetical order)

Image of John McCain
John McCain

Image of Barach Obama
Barack Obama

-- Dalton Hammond

Friday, September 05, 2008

Guest Commentary

I've never met a politician who wasn't crooked but it all evens out because I have met some people who were crooked and not politicians.

-- Printed by permission of Philip H. De Turk.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Presidential Campaign Issues

How are we supposed to figure out who to vote for since both candidates claim to be against the war? It was a lot more fun when we could argue about abortion and gun control.

-- Dalton Hammond

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Ceremony Was Faked

I almost always never watch the stupid TV...maybe a half dozen golf tournaments per year and that's it.

So when all my friends and the rest of the entire world went ga-ga over the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics I figured maybe I missed something and decided to Google around and try to find a video replay.

Then I learned that much of the ballyhooed ceremony was faked. Fake fireworks, even fake singing by the little Chinese girl who was a last-minute substitute and lip-synced her performance.

They had the entire world fooled for a while...except me. -- Dalton Hammond

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pluto is becoming a Plutoid

In what I think is a major public relations coup a committee of The International Astronomical Union has decided to call these newly-discovered Pluto-sized asteroids "Plutoids".

You'll recall that a couple of years ago the same union of astronomers voted to strip Pluto of its status as a planet and call it a Trans-Neptunian Dwarf Planet, as reported in my blog entry at

By naming all these other critters Plutoids the committee has raised little Pluto's esteem by naming a whole new asteroid classification after the former planet.

I'm so glad.

-- Dalton Hammond

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Callisto Transits Jupiter

Sometimes you have to be at the right place in the Universe at the right time.

Early on the morning of August 4th, 2008 despite a thick summer haze I captured this fuzzy image of the great gas planet Jupiter just as the Jovian moon Callisto was crossing in front of the planet. The moon appears as a black dot at the upper right edge and the shadow of Callisto can be seen on the face of the planet just above the image of Callisto. The haze-bloated dot to the left of Jupiter is the moon Io and the moon Ganymede appears to the right of the planet. -- Dalton Hammond

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Global Warming and CO2 Warnings are Lies

United Nation's IPCC, Al Gore Cited for "False Science","Deceptive Practices"

In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leaders of the G-8 nations, a group of distinguished scientists from all over the world has asked that the International Panel on Climate Change be redressed for "lack of scientific integrity."

The letter disputes the theory, endorsed by the U.N. panel and promoted by former Vice President Al Gore, that carbon dioxide is causing changes in the world's climate. The letter says steps to combat global warming "are already causing misery and starvation for the world's poor."

The complete text of the 14-April-2008 letter to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) appears here.

The complete scientific report appears here: CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal Of Our Time

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to be a Tiger

To learn Tiger Woods' famous trick shot just click the big button to start the 30-second video I took on the Pinehurst Country Club driving range yesterday afternoon. -- Dalton Hammond

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just remember...(#07)

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.

Source: Internet

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just remember...(#06)

You can't have everything...where would you put it?

Source: Internet

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just remember...(#05)

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Source: Internet

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just remember...(#04)

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Source: Internet

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just remember...(#03)

A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

Source: Internet

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just remember....(#02)

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.

Source: Internet

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just remember....(#01)

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

Source: Internet

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Calorie-Cutting in Paradise

And here's another little trick from Paradise Found (Pinehurst, NC):

There is a well-known concoction around Pinehurst called the "Arnold Palmer", which is half iced tea and half lemonade.

Now try the "Dalton Hammond": Mix a packet of Crystal Lite Decaf Iced Tea mix (the regular, not with mangoes or peaches or whatever) with a packet of Crystal Lite Lemonade mix into a half-gallon (or a little more, since this comes out rather "sweet") of plain water. This tastes a lot better than you expect. Mmmm...and only about 10 calories per large serving!

You can drink this while watching TV 18 hours a day and never get fat.


- Dalton Hammond

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Searching Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

If you believe what the evolutionists tell you then SETI is spending all this money to discover radio signals from 100 million light years away that could have only been sent by dinosaurs. -- Dalton Hammond

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cellphones and Cellulose

I went to the Wal-Mart today and decided I should have been a surgeon. What do you call a doctor who attempts to remove cellphones from women's ears anyway? Don't these people know that cellphones cause cellulose, turbidity, pimples, flatulence, wrinkles, stretch marks, bad grades, pregnancy, premature graying, annoys everyone around them, and makes them look really stupid?

And how come I'm always the only one who really knows what's going on?

-- Dalton Hammond

Note: Since writing this post I've decided to try to be less critical of public display of stupid cellphones. Apparently, like going out in public with boogers hanging from both nostrils or wearing white shorts with fresh brown stain in the seat, some people -- male and female -- have different concepts of cosmetic ornamentation. --D.H.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cheap Web Host

I was looking for an inexpensive, cheap web host service, but I didn't expect to find a web host this cheap, and with such generous features.

StartLogic sounded too good to be true so I decided to try them out with a charity golf tournament that I'm helping to promote and once I transferred the charity web site to StartLogic I was amazed to learn that everything they offered in their ads was true. I don't expect to EVER run out of storage, bandwidth, email addresses, redirects or subdomains, even though I'm running half a dozen domains with full web sites with them now.

On my recommendation a friend of mine decided to give them a try and he's now moved all of his web sites to StartLogic and he's saving over a hundred dollars a MONTH! Neither he nor I have had any problems at all with their service. If I sound like a happy web host customer, please know that I really am.

Don't take my word for it; click the link below to check out this impressive web hosting service for yourself.

Feature-for-feature StartLogic is the most impressive -- and cheapest -- web hosting service I've ever seen.

Host your Web site with StartLogic!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Will Work For Food -- a review

Logo of The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia

What do Ernest Borgnine (actor: From Here To Eternity, The Dirty Dozen, McHales Navy), James Burrows (director, producer: Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show, LaVerne and Shirley, Taxi, Frasier, Friends), Frank Lovejoy (actor: Home of the Brave, House of Wax, Playhouse 90), Patricia Neal (actress: Oscar winner in Hud, The Homecoming, The Fountainhead), and Gregory Peck (actor: Oscar winner in To Kill A Mockingbird, The Guns of Navarone, Duel in the Sun), have in common?

Answer: They started their careers as starving thespians who received food as their pay at The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia.

The Barter Theatre began as a small-town depression-era food line for actors and actresses who were unable to make a living in the cash-starved post-Depression years of American Theatre, and under the leadership and inspiration of Robert Porterfield grew to become the longest-running professional Equity theatre in the nation. With an annual attendance of over 160,000 the Barter currently performs as many as five shows daily, year-round.

Writer Joe Goodpasture takes the reader on a compelling backstage tour of the facility, its modest beginnings and its almost spiritual growth, and provides insightful depiction of the minds, personalities, and motivations of the men and women who were/are the legacy of The Barter. Goodpasture's wife Anne McIver Goodpasture provided research and editorial assistance.

Every student of American Theatre will find a favorite place in their collection for Will Work For Food, on sale at the Barter gift shop and the Stage II gift shop in Abingdon, Virginia, and soon to be available online.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Hanly Sictionary

My golfing buddy Pete Hanly is a self-admitted lexicographical master of words and recently passed these along to me. I'll let him explain -- Dalton Hammond


I have my own sictionary which is derived by taking any word from the dictionary, altering it by adding, subtracting, or changing ONLY ONE letter, and supplying a new definition. Here are the examples:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido: All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And there are better definitions currently not included in most dictionaries:

1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly , n. anti-priapism or more simply, a limp dick.
6. Negligent , adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
7. Lymph , v. To walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle , n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence , n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash , n. A rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle , n. A humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude , n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon , n. A Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster , n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism , n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent , n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

©2008, Dr. P.N. Hanley

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Curse of Buck Mountain

Here's a North Carolina ghost story -- Dalton Hammond


Deep in the hills of western Wilkes County, North Carolina a legend still lives in local folklore, and summons questions which have never been answered to this day.

He was known only as Luther, and was said to be a direct descendant of Daniel Boone who lived a few mountains away in the town now called Boone. Luther called Buck Mountain his home and eked out his modest living as a trapper, trading his deer and bear hides, and pelts from mink and raccoon which lived in abundance on the mountain for flour, salt pork, and tobacco on his semiannual pilgrimages to Wilkesboro. During such visits he often astounded the villagers with his skillful bird and animal calls which he produced solely with his mouth and teeth. He developed a reputation for being able to reproduce the call of any bird or animal on the mountain and the locals looked forward to Luther's entertaining visits.

As settlers began to populate the valley below Buck Mountain they suffered frequent raids on their hen houses from packs of Timber Wolves that came down from the mountain. Even their precious bird dogs were sometimes killed or mauled by the predations. Eventually a bounty was declared on the wolves which Luther found to be an agreeable source of revenue.

On a fateful night in late October a valley settler was awakened by his house dogs who were barking excitedly at a disturbance outside the door of his cabin. Cocking his scattergun, he approached the door and squinted through the peephole. Outside lay Luther, on his side, his rudimentary clothing in rags and wicked bloody gashes streamed across his face. He appeared to be alone. The settler cautiously approached the prostrate body and carefully rolled him over onto his back. Luther was dying, but he opened his eyes which glistened in the moonlight, and croaked his last words which are still being retold:

That night Luther had found wolf tracks up on the mountain and followed them to a small natural cave which was hidden by a fallen tree stump. Inside the den he discovered a litter of eight young wolf pups, alone. Surely the mother and father were nearby, he reasoned. He parted the roots of the stump a bit more for a better look and his heart began to pound furiously at what he saw: Diamonds, dozens of them, were scattered about the floor of the den and he could see even more embedded in the walls of the cave. He picked one up, examined it for a moment in the moonlight, then placed it in his black powder pouch which hung around his neck. As he reached down for more he heard a ghastly bark which became a growl and he suddenly felt his leg being ripped to shreds. He had been found!

All at once there were wolves all around him and he flailed frantically at the nearest attackers with the butt of his rifle as he tried to work his way back down the mountain. Just as he was beginning to fear that he was lost a single wolf made a huge leap, gashing his face and neck, knocking him to the ground. Luther began to slide and roll helplessly down the slope and as he tumbled the growling and howls began to sound farther away.

When he came to a stop several hundred feet later, he realized that the wolves had remained at the den to protect the young. Luther groaned as he struggled to his feet and began to make his way to a solitary cabin down in the valley where the settler found him at the door.

Luther died that same night and the settler buried him in an unmarked grave behind the hen house. Remarkably, Luther had held on to his rifle, which the settler kept along with the powder pouch. When he went to town and traded a fine uncut diamond for supplies, livestock, and corn whiskey the alcohol loosened his tongue and he related the story of Luther's last hours. As the reader might expect there was a lot of searching on and around Buck Mountain for the source of Luther's diamond but the fabled den was never found.

Shortly thereafter on moonlit nights local residents began sighting a dark human shadow working its way among the trees on Buck Mountain. To them, its gait is unmistakably Luther's, and they know he is searching for the Lost Diamond Trove of Buck Mountain.

Now when present-day visitors to Buck Mountain sit on their porches or in their campers and listen to the whip-poor-wills, mourning doves, meadowlarks, squirrels, turkeys and other mountain denizens begin their nocturnal calls, they can never be certain that they're not hearing...The Curse of Buck Mountain.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Devil's Tramping Ground Project

Recently I received an email from a magazine reporter, a fellow ghost-chaser, who requested additional information after reading my blog entry about my true experience meeting The Ghost of Maco Station. I answered her questions the best I could and smugly mentioned that I had recently visited another famous North Carolina haunting, The Devil's Tramping Ground.

Fully unimpressed, she wrote that she had also visited the DTG...with a CAMERA CREW, and filed this report:

Devil's Tramping Ground Video

-- Dalton "Wow, did she upstage me" Hammond

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Call Me, Madam

A Madam in search of a Mister
Wound up with a fellow named Spitzer
Though their tryst went quite well
His career went to Hell;
He got screwed and never did kiss her.

Dalton Hammond

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who hit that shot, Tiger Woods?

Hello again, sports fans. Today while the world was glued to the tube your ole buddy Dalton Hammond was adding another page to his legacy.

It happened on the 12th hole on Pinehurst course number Five. After a totally unexpected par on hole #11 where my off-center tee shot left me 165 yards from the green -- all carry, over water, with the wind in my face -- I decided to take the coward's way out, punching a 3-hybrid club to a bailout area 30 yards left of the green. A lucky chip left me 12 feet past the hole and I drained the putt for a par 4 net 2, since I received a 2 stroke handicap on that hole.

I toasted my good fortune with a lemonade and three baked-on-premises oatmeal and raisin cookies from the halfway house and celebrated further on the 12th hole by pushing my next tee shot wide right into the line of trees along the cart path that ran up the long hill to the green 155 yards away. There was a big oak tree between my ball and the green. As I awaited my turn to play I ruminated under the deep blue Pinehurst sky. "Bluer than the hips of an eskimo fan dancer", I thought, remembering a favorite running joke from the Jack Benny radio series. "How would Tigger Woods handle this shot" I wondered. I decided to try to bend the shot around the tree and maybe end up somewhere near the front of the green.

Resting the sole of the now-famous lucky 3-hybrid club behind the ball with the face pointed directly at the tree/green line I set up my feet on a line pointing to the sand bunker to the left of the green, then took a three-quarter knockdown swing across the ball which started for the bunker and gently curved right, hitting the front fringe and taking two little hops as it skidded out of sight onto the elevated putting surface. Applause erupted among my fellow-competitors. "Tigger would have loved that one", I mused.

When I got to the green there was no ball in sight. I figured it had rolled off the green but there was no ball back there either. By now one of my comrades had reached the green and, with a witness close by I approached the hole, reached in and retrieved my ball, which I had holed out in just two strokes -- two under par, an EAGLE, my first ever -- for a net ONE.

Nimbly juggling the ball with one hand I nonchalantly headed for the cart and could be heard mumbling to myself "Take THAT, Tigger!"

Respectfully submitted,
Dalton Hammond

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Real Pat Patterson

Pat Patterson is the funniest radio morning host I have ever heard --anywhere! Pat was on the air during the Golden Years of Top 40 Radio at my alma mater, WKIX in Raleigh, North Carolina, from 1969 to 1974.

Pat earned four Billboard awards during his time in Raleigh at KIX for Best Morning Personality in a Medium Market and Best A.M. Personality in a Major Market. He released two rock ‘n’ roll singles (which did nothing) and while in Raleigh, he recorded three comedy albums, most of them featuring bits from his show. “At least I got my money back,” says Pat.

Pat’s Publicity Stunts during the WKIX years included four hot air balloon rides, with the last one ending in a crash landing. “But I did get my champagne!” Pat says. “I also wrestled Victor the Bear, a dumb idea that lasted 30 seconds. I quarterbacked the N.C. State Freshman team and later the Alumni Teams as ‘Celebrity QB’. Four plays each game and I damn nearly got killed.”

“The biggest fun thing at ‘KIX was organizing and coaching the KIX Kagers basketball team. We played 35-40 high school faculties a year and raised over $80,000. I averaged 25 points a game and never played in high school!”

Pat’s bits were always delivered straight, and unless you listened carefully, it was sometimes difficult to tell whether he was kidding, or not! And his deliberate, seemingly annoyed pauses when something supposedly goes wrong are pure Patterson, too.

Fortunately, there was never any confusion regarding Johnny Dollar but we wouldn’t be surprised if a few less-studious students at N.C. State sometimes used Uncle Zeb’s Miracle Liniment, even without a specific recommendation from Dr. Patterson.

Pat has finally gone high-tech and set up a web site full of his air checks and humor bits and I urge you to check him out at

-- Dalton Hammond

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clinton vs Obama

"Now that the race to become the Democratic nominee is down to just Clinton and Obama I would have to say that Obama is the best man for the job."

-- Dalton Hammond

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2008 Lunar Eclipse

©2008, Dalton Hammond

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cream Rises To The Top

I have heard it often said that 'cream rises to the top'. However, I have noticed that turds float, too.

-- Dalton Hammond

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Steroids on the PGA Tour

I saw an interesting observation in a golf magazine the other night:

"Tiger Woods has said that if they start testing tour players for steroids he'll gladly be the first in line to be tested. Now I ask you, if Tiger's test comes back negative, what does it MATTER what anyone else is on?"

Amen, brother. -- Dalton Hammond

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gary Player -- 11 Million Golf Balls?

Being a skeptic comes naturally to me so when golf professional Gary Player claimed to have hit eleven million golf balls in his career I had to put the calculator on it.

He's 72 years old. Let's say Gary started hitting balls at the age of 2, which is doubtful. Eleven million divided by 70 divided by 365 equals 430 balls every single day, taking off only leap days every four years.

I really, really doubt it.

-- Dalton Hammond

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Ghosts

Ghosts abound if you know how to look for them. After reading my TRUE report on the Maco Ghost a friend sent me the following note from his home town of Abingdon, Virginia -- Dalton Hammond

Well, Ghostbuster, our pulpit-pounding preachers have chased the devil out of the mountains, so maybe he found refuge in east Carolina....but if you want to chase ghosts come on up to our little town. We're overrun with ghosts and spooks and things that go bump in the night.

We've got so many there's a professional ghost expert who conducts regular tours of haunted sites at $15 bucks a head. The tourists love it and she's making a good living.

But forget the $15...I'll give you a tour for free:

I'll show you the place on the floor at the Martha Washington Inn where the blood of a dead Confederate soldier seeps through the wood on occasion. The Inn (then a girl's school) was a hospital during "da wah" and the soldier supposedly died there and still haunts the place. Several of the guest rooms are haunted as well and I've heard the hotel charges extra to stay in them.

The ghost of Robert Porterfield, founder of the Barter Theatre, is reputed to haunt the old theatre and several actors have reported seeing him appear at the back of the hall during performances, dressed in his customary white dinner jacket. One such apparition a few years ago brought the play to a halt when the actors froze on stage and couldn't remember their lines. The old theater, which dates to the early 1800s, has several other ghosts as well. I know personally of a wardrobe lady who refuses to work in a dark little room downstairs.

Then there's The Tavern, built in 1779 , where the spirit of a girl murdered in the building more than a century ago occasionally shows up and gooses the waitreses, causing them to drop their trays. And then there's the closed-off attic - used as a hospital during the Civil War - where numbers marking where beds were placed appear and disappear on the wall in blood red. [My] friends with an electrician who fled in terror when the numbers started glowing while he was working on the power line.

We even have a horse ghost. As the story goes, the horse belonged to one of the Yankees who burned the town during the War for Southern Independence and was shot and killed by the local militia. The horse ran away but is still seen on occasion, galloping riderless down Church Street.

There's lots of others as well....including the apparition that appears at a window on the second floor of the Washington County News, which has been located in the same building for 200 years, and the spirit that floats above a grave in the old Sinking Springs Cemetery. The spirit is said to be that of a Confederate deserter who was forced to dig his own grave and stand beside it while he was put to death by firing squad.

You want ghosts...we got ghosts! Come see us.

-- Olde "Booooooo"

Friday, January 04, 2008

How To Make A Britney Spears Cocktail


With gin and vermouth
Stir in one wasted youth.
Top with an eight ball,
Washed down with rohypnol.

Mix sugar and spice,
And just to be nice
But not any cheaper,
A douche bag of reefer.

And feeling quite numb,
The hour has come,
For parental occasion,
Your kid's visitation.

©2008, Dalton Hammond

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mod Waterfall

This is a waterfall near a friend's mountain cabin. The trees were so bare I goosed up the color and added a few digital touches. -- D.H.

©2008, Dalton Hammond