The Odd Side – May 19, 2015

Sea Lion Pup Startles Sailor With Snoring, Sneezing

SAN DIEGO (AP) – A surprising stowaway startled a man out on his boat in San Diego: A sea lion pup that decided to crash in a bunk, waking the owner with his snoring.

Michael Duffy said he was on his boat Elixir at the San Diego Yacht Club when he awoke at 2:30 a.m. Sunday to sneezing and snoring.

He thought it might be a friend, crashing from a night out, but couldn’t find anyone. Once it got light a few hours later, however, he heard it again.

That’s when Duffy saw a 35-pound sea lion pup on another bunk, curled up like a dog.

“It was a tiny little guy, and I was kind of shocked, but he was basically asleep,” Duffy said.

Duffy grabbed his cellphone and took a photo of the pup, who had already jumped down onto the cabin floor.

“You gotta go, buddy, go… go, go, go,” Duffy said, as he filmed, softly coaxing the baby sea lion off the boat and into the water.

“He was extremely well behaved, except for his loud snoring and sneezing,” Duffy said.

He said the pup had an orange tag on its flipper. The baby sea lion appeared to be healthy and swam fine, and it was seemingly no stranger to humans.

Graduation, Wedding All Part of Milestone Weekend

FLINT, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan woman is packing a lot of milestones into one weekend.

On Saturday, Anna Schaar is scheduled to graduate from medical school and will be promoted in the U.S. Air Force, The Flint Journal reported. On Sunday, she and Andrew Friend are getting married. And they’re also buying a house.

“I keep saying that I’m sprinting into adulthood,” Schaar said with a laugh. “It’s incredible. It’s a really big weekend.”

Schaar spent the last two years studying medicine in Flint through Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. During graduation, she will be promoted to captain in the Air Force.

The wedding ceremony is planned in Eaton Rapids, with about 15 guests.

“My family and Andrew’s family has been incredibly supportive with everything that we are choosing to do in a tight weekend,” Schaar said. “I don’t think I’d be able to accomplish it all without my family and Andrew’s family.”

Her fiancé said it’s “amazing how well she’s kept everything together and in perspective.” He said it will be an exciting weekend.

“She’s been a rock through this whole process,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Trendy Houston Area Home on Sale for $1 and a Few Words

HOUSTON – A home in a popular Houston neighborhood valued at nearly $400,000 has been put on the block for the sale price of $1 and one compelling essay.

Husband and wife Michael and Stephanie Wachs are moving to a home closer to their daughter’s preschool and want the owners of their old home to move in without being burdened by a mortgage.

They are asking hopeful buyers to submit a 200-word essay along with a $150 offer fee to bid on their 1,056-square-foot, two-bedroom cottage.

It would take about 2,500 offer fees to collect the home’s appraised value. As of Friday morning, 300 essays had come in, but not all of the applicants had paid the offer fee.

The essayist chosen will be responsible for the taxes, title policy and $1 contract price.

“It’s not a contest. These are heartstring letters, which are common in real-estate transactions when you have multiple offers on a house,” Michael Wachs said.

They were inspired when they read about a Maine bed and breakfast being sold in a similar fashion.

The couple is asking potential buyers not to include any identifying information in the essays, which are due by mid-June.

If they do not choose a buyer, they will refund all offer fees.

“My wife and I have the same tastes so we’ll probably split the reading work in half evenly and then each come back with our 20 favorites and narrow it down from there,” Michael Wachs said.

Beijing Police Warn ‘Strange Outfits’ on Subway May Cause Stampedes

BEIJING – Beijing police are patrolling the city’s subways and trains to stop people wearing face masks, strange costumes and forming flash mobs, warning commuters that such actions could jeopardize public safety by causing stampedes.

State news agency Xinhua said law enforcement teams started the patrols on May 1.

Costumes and masks are likely to attract the attention of other passengers, Xinhua quoted Liang Jianwei, vice head of the Beijing municipal traffic administration corps, as saying.

“When a lot of people stop to watch, the risk of stampedes increases,” Liang said.

Passengers should avoid forming flash mobs, the article quoted Liang as saying.

“Although such behavior is not banned by law, passengers should not be too willful,” Liang said.

Police will warn against “problematic behavior” when they come across it, Liang said.

30-Foot Wings Drawn in Chalk Part of Fundraising Effort

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) – Thirty-foot-wide wings drawn in chalk and charcoal outside a café in Michigan are part of a fundraising effort for a woman who wants to help build a school for adults in Nicaragua.

The wings were drawn Wednesday outside the Raven Café in Port Huron, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported.

For now, people may pose for photos with them and in return, organizers are seeking a donation to help get Deidre Murch of Port Huron to Nicaragua, where she wants to build the free school. Someone from the café will take the photo, which from above can look as if the person being photographed has huge wings.

Murch is pursuing a trip sponsored by Random Acts, a nonprofit that has hosted relief trips to Haiti and Nicaragua.

“What people don’t realize is that education is not free in Nicaragua like it is here,” Parmann said.