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Signs of the Times June 24, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
17 comments

Weather often determines whether travel is smooth sailing or slow going.  On the way out west, the wet & wooly weather left us feeling a bit water-logged.

We had brief respites as the sun struggled to shine through layers of cloud cover.

Of course, the “soggy” weather had an upside ~> we weren’t tempted to stop too much.

The morning we left GA, a twister touched down in Dalton.  After hearing that, we watched the skies with increased intensity, searching for signs.

No, NOT that kind of sign.

We had our eyes peeled for signs of wicked windy weather ahead.

And we saw lots of it.

Lucky for us, we didn’t run into a deluge.

Instead, the rain mostly spit at us.

While offering sobering hints of what lay ahead.

No matter how fast we drove, we couldn’t escape the clouds.

But every time it seemed we were headed straight into harm’s way, the road shifted, steering us clear of danger.

Eventually a sign for Fort Collins came into view.

With relief, we headed north where the weather improved.

For most of our stay, we enjoyed sunny skies punctuated by short showers.

As we left for home, we enjoyed one last look at the Rockies . . . under Blue, Blue Skies!

With better weather ahead and over head, we looked for other signs.

The Lost Pizza Company in Tupelo, Mississippi did not disappoint.

STOP!  Those shades look FAB on you!

“Why thank you.  Thank you very much!”

Everywhere we looked, we saw signs that made us smile.

The Lost Pizza Company is . . . Like No Place Else.

We also enjoyed the signs at Busy Bee in Live Oak, Florida.

Including the sign advertising Clean Potties.

BTW:  The sign was spot on . . . the bathroom was spot less.

But our favorite sign appeared at the Florida Welcome Center, where we stopped for a shot of fresh Florida orange juice.

After all . . . there’s No Place Like Home!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Like A Kid In A Candy Store . . . June 21, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
21 comments

While in Fort Collins, BFF and I paid a visit to Natural Alternatives for Health ~> my niece’s favorite pot dispensary.

I loved it!

The “ohm-budsmen” were friendly and knowledgeable.

The prices were reasonable.

The decor was cool.

The selection was great.

A fun vibe all the way around.

Two days later, my niece asked me to smoke some “Critical Mass” with her.

Did I inhale?

Let’s just say, I enjoyed that “Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

New Belgium Brewery & Fat Tire Beer June 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

After sampling Doug’s brews on Friday and Saturday, we went on a Tasting Tour of the New Belgium Brewery on Sunday . . .

New Belgium is home to Fat Tire beer.

The brewery is decked out with bicycles.

And some great revolving wall art.

The process is the same, but with much bigger equipment!

Did I mention that it was a Tasting Tour?

We enjoyed ample samples.

Here’s the group looking a bit sleepy before the tasting started . . .

Once the tasting began, interest picked up and we perked up . . .

Still farther along on the tour . . .

For the finale, we got to slide down a fireman’s pole transformed into a chute!

I also loved this montage . . .

And this beer can chandelier . . .

As we left, I spotted this sign of the times . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Are You Quizzing Me?! June 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Joke.
29 comments

It’s interesting to see how desperate some writers are to have us click on posts, articles, and other flotsam and jetsam.

Often, the manufactured titles are downright insulting.

This week I received one of the stupidest quiz “opportunities” ever:

Which Frank Lloyd Wright Building Are You?

If you’ve ever wondered which Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home or building best describes your personality, wonder no longer! This quiz is sure to dig deep into your psyche and pull out a connection you may be unaware you have with one of Wright’s many architectural feats.

I didn’t bother to take the quiz because . . .

(1) I am NOT a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

(2) I have never wondered which Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home or building best describes my personality.

(3) I don’t need to dig deep into my psyche to pull out an imaginary connection to one of Wright’s many architectural feats.

But the quiz did serve a purpose ~> blog fodder!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever wondered if you are unaware of a connection your psyche has with a building?  A car?  A toaster?  A coffee maker?  A bridge?

Me neither.

My Brother . . . the Brewmeister! June 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

While in Fort Collins, we got to see my brother whipping up a batch of Imperial Russian Oatmeal Chocolate Stout.

After boiling the grain . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

And boiling it some more . . .

He added the several different types of hops and flavorings required by the recipe . . .

And cooled the brew down with a copper “chiller” . . .

Once chilled, Doug added the yeast and transferred the brew to a glass bottle to allow the yeast to percolate:

After the Krauzen (the foamy stuff on top) starts to sink a bit, Doug will start thinking about “racking” it over to a secondary (5 gallon glass carboy) for secondary fermentation.

Like wine, beer making is a slow process . . . especially for an Imperial Stout. This brew won’t be ready until Octoberfest.

But Doug didn’t disappoint.

He had other beers in the pipeline “ready to go” ~> specifically Red Banshee Ale and a delicious Bavarian Helles Lager.

We sampled both on Friday night while sitting around the campfire . . .

Right before toasting marshmallows and eating S’Mores ~> YUM!

Don’t worry, we didn’t drain his kegs.  And if we had, no worries ~> “Drink all you want, we’ll brew more.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Poudre Canyon & The Mishawaka Inn June 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On Saturday, we drove through Poudre Canyon and stopped at the Mishawaka Inn for a “lite bite.”

The Mish, an inviting Inn and Concert Amphitheater, is located on the banks of the Poudre River.

The river offers ample whitewater rafting opportunities . . . something we took advantage of a few years back.

The sights and sounds from the back deck are spectacular.

A great spot from which to listen to the river sing.

Notice all the jackets . . . it’s cool in them there hills.

But the sun peeked out from time to time.

And there was a fire inside.

Surrounded by lots of interesting nooks & crannies.

I snapped a few last shots before we hopped back into the car.

With one more for good measure.

Aah . . . that’s better!

How Malapropriate! June 10, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People, Word Play.
38 comments

Sometimes mom has a tough time finding the right words to convey her sentiments, resulting in humorous lines along the lines of malapropisms, spoonerisms, or eggcorns.

By way of example, our parting conversation:

“Mom, we’re packing the car and plan to leave this morning.”

“Well, I can’t say I’m sorry. . . . (PAUSE) . . . Oh, I think that came out wrong.”

“I know, mom.”

Other times, she nails it!

Case in point:

Mom’s new neurologist, a doctor with LONG black hair cascading down her back, admonished mom to quit smoking, citing health reasons:  “You should quit smoking.  It would be healthier.”

Without missing a beat, mom replied:  “You should cut your hair.  It would look more professional.”

Lecture over!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado June 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
26 comments

On our first day in Fort Collins, while still adjusting to the increased altitude, we decided to hike a local preserve.

We followed the path high up into the foothills . . . watching for rattlesnakes.

BFF and I lagged behind the pack because breathing at that altitude is hard work.

But the views were worth it!

A quick pit stop to learn about the history of the flora and fauna.

Nothing like a Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado!

Especially in such a special place.

Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Quick Vignettes From The Road June 5, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Travel & Leisure, Word Play.
19 comments

On June 1st, we returned from a 10-day road trip to Fort Collins, Colorado to visit my 87-year-old mom.  I’ll share more stories and photos from the trip in upcoming posts.

In the meantime, here are 7 Quick Vignettes From The Road:

#1.  Clocking Out . . . 

We arrived at our first hotel (in Valdosta, Georgia), and ran into the tail end of an unfolding drama.

The Front Desk Clerk (who had been waiting on a group of 4-5 “unruly” travelers) stormed out from behind the counter at our approach, glared at a co-worker, and said, “I’m clocking out.”

WHAT?!

His astonished co-worker quickly stepped behind the counter to check us in.

When I asked what had happened, he said he didn’t know.  But he agreed with my initial assessment ~> the guy had QUIT!  On the spot.

Customers might always be right, but desk clerks may respond by “clocking out.”

#2.  Me and Nanny McPhee!

After checking into our room, we decided to explore the premises.

As we walked into the pool area, a toddler in the spa on the far side of the pool called out to me, “We’re swimming in the WARM water!”

A second child chimed in with, “The water in the big pool is COLD.”

The kids continued to regale me with travel tales, tidbits, and trivia . . . as two supervising adults sitting on the sidelines were ignored.

The next morning, as I entered the breakfast room, a third toddler swiveled around in her chair (doing a full 180) to speak with me about a V.I.T. (Very Important Topic) ~> what she planned to eat for breakfast. (Answer:  Fruit Loops!)

I was beginning to feel a bit like Nanny McPhee . . . AFTER her charges had warmed up to her.

In other words, post warts!

This thought solidified a few hours later at Magnolia Plantation ~ a modern day rendition of Stuckey’s, complete with Pecan Logs, Pralined Pecans, Pecan Turtles, and Praline Fudge.

At the front entrance, I saw a young girl sitting on the floor anxious to try on a pair of moccasins.  Her mother (busy combing the stacks of boxes) said, “I’m not sure if they’ll have a pair in your size . . . oh, wait, here’s a pair.”

As the girl beamed up at me, I beamed back and said, “I can’t wait to see what color your moccasins will be.”

Her mom held up a pair of pink moccasins (perfect for a modern day Native American Princess).

I made a parting comment to the tyke (expecting it to be our last interaction), “Oh, pink! They’ll look great on you.”

After admiring all manner of fruit preserves, jams, jellies, and relishes, I began to explore the Souvenir Emporium’s vast collection of Southern Cookbooks (e.g., 365 Ways to Serve Grits & Biscuits).  As I turned pages featuring puddles of butter, the young girl, now clad in pink moccasins, arrived at Cookbook Corner and stationed herself in front of me . . . presumably for inspection.

“At ease, Private!”

Like Nanny McPhee, I’m a child magnet ~> kids love us like biscuits love butter!

#3.  Kill the Lights!

Once we decided on a basic route out to Fort Collins (Florida ~> Georgia ~> Tennessee ~> Kentucky ~> Illinois ~> Missouri ~> Kansas ~> Colorado), I scrolled over the route on my iPad taking screen shots of the “tricky bits” around Macon, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, etc.).

As the map slid beneath my finger, I saw “Dalton” in Georgia and remembered that one of my college roommates lived in Dalton.

I shot her an e-mail to see if we could hook up with her and her husband for dinner on our way out to Colorado.

She tossed me a generous dose of Southern Hospitality in response, inviting us to stay with them for the night.

So, on night two, we checked into Chez Partain, went for a tour of Dalton (including a behind-the-scenes look at the new courthouse where her husband, a Superior Court Judge, works).

After dinner at Cherokee Pizza and Brewing, we headed back to their place to sip margaritas on the screened porch while watching the Georgia Mountains lit up by an approaching storm.

Aah . . . bliss!

When it came time to turn in for the night, I turned down the comforter and plumped the pillows.  BFF went one further and killed the lights . . . literally!

As he swung his “extra” pillow around to place it on the floor, a resounding *CRASH* signaled that he had knocked over a lamp, smashing the bulb.

#4.  A Missed Opportunity

The next day, as we crossed over the Ohio River from Kentucky to Illinois at noon, I saw a sign for Metropolis . . . the home of Superman.  I recalled having read an article about the town awhile back.  We debated stopping but decided against it because we had driven only 300 miles of the planned 750 miles for the day.

Here is what we missed:

In his various portrayals, Superman resides in a fictional American city named Metropolis, and on January 21, 1972, DC Comics declared Metropolis the “Hometown of Superman.” On June 9, 1972, the Illinois State Legislature passed Resolution 572 that confirmed this, declaring Metropolis the “Hometown of Superman.”

The city has a 30-foot painted bronze statue of Superman which sits in front of the county courthouse, and a statue of Noel Neill‘s Lois Lane from “The Adventure of Superman” stands just a few blocks away.

Each year on the 2nd weekend of June, Superman fans from all over the world gather in Metropolis for their annual Superman Celebration, which features celebrity guests from movies, television, and the comic book industry. The 4-day annual celebration also boasts vendors selling food, comics, homemade crafts, and other merchandise, as well as discussion panels, auctions, a costume contest, and a variety of other events throughout the weekend.

Travel Tip:  If you plan to be near Metropolis next weekend . . . remember to pack your cape!

#5.  Better Than A Buckboard

As we continued to roll on down the highway, our butts grew numb.  Numb butt is a real danger on long distance road trips, requiring frequent stops to regain circulation in the nether regions.

Sometimes we just wander around admiring the view:

Other times we climb rock formations and play Simon Says:

Back in the car with another 1,000 miles to go, we consoled ourselves by playing the “It Could Be Worse” Game:

Instead of covering 2,000 miles in 3 days in an air-conditioned mini-van with ample snacks and padded seats, we could be covering 10 miles a day in a horse-drawn wagon . . . while periodically taking cover from tornadoes, dust storms, and angry Native Americans.

In short, our Toyota Sienna is . . . Better Than A Buckboard.

#6. “¡Arriba, Arriba! ¡Ándale, Ándale!”

The I-70 exit for Arriba, Colorado (which we passed going and coming) made us think of Speedy Gonzales and his catchy catch-phrase:  “¡Arriba, arriba! ¡Ándale, ándale!”

Curious, I decided to check the translation to see if Speedy meant, “Hurry Up!” 

The Spanish Dictionary I consulted concurred with my tentative translation ~> Arriba means “go! or hooray for…!” and ándale means “come on!”  

Close enough!

The dictionary noted that most people aren’t as enthusiastic as Speedy, so they use one or the other, not both.

#7.  Does your conscience bother you?  Tell the truth.

Cats NEVER feel guilty . . . they feel entitled!

We chose a southerly route (Colorado ~> Kansas ~> Oklahoma ~> Arkansas ~> Mississippi ~> Alabama ~> Florida) for the return home.

As we crossed into Alabama from Mississippi, we popped Lynyrd Skynyrd’s One More From the Road into the player.  As Ronnie Van Zant sang about his “Sweet Home Alabama,” I sang along:

“Well, Watergate does not bother me . . . does your conscience bother you?  Tell the truth.”

BFF suggested (with some degree of insistence) that I was singing the wrong lyrics.

Surprised, I asked, “what do you think the right lyrics are?”

“I think they’re singing, ‘Your one-eyed gaze does not bother me . . .’

So, Morgan and Gracie . . . that’s One More From the Road for you!

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Fun With Words ~ Medical Mixups June 3, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
26 comments

On the last vocabulary test of the year, Edna Krabappel received a slew of creative responses from students eager to start summer break:

Artery ~ A shop that sells paintings

Barium ~ What to do when someone dies

Benign ~ What you be, after you be eight

Cat scan ~ Making a quick search under the furniture for kitty

Cauterize ~ Made eye contact with her

Coma ~ A punctuation mark

Dilate ~ To live longer than expected

Enema ~ Not a friend

Fester ~ Quicker than someone else

Impotent ~ Distinguished, well known

Labor Pain ~ Getting hurt at work

Morbid ~ A higher offer

Nitrates~ Rates of Pay for Working at Night

Node ~ I knew it

Outpatient ~ A person who has fainted

Post Operative ~ A letter carrier

Recovery Room ~ Place to do upholstery

Rectum ~ Nearly killed him

Secretion ~ Hiding something

Seizure ~ Roman Emperor

Tablet ~ A small table

Urine ~ Opposite of you’re out

Edna understood her students’ excitement and shared their eagerness for a L~O~N~G summer break.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)