Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Traditions

We were saddened recently when our player ate our VHS copy(yeah we're old) of Rudolph . It wasn't so much the loss of the tape which we've since replaced with a DVD. What we are really going to miss is the rest of the content on the tape. Our VHS tape was a copy from a network broadcast in 1994. We were able to date it from a Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman ad for an episode. Funny, Jane Seymour has morphed from commercials for her TV show to hawking jewelry. She's still a Christmas staple.

It was, and is, rare when neither of us is traveling at the broadcast time. We taped it so we could watch it together. The network broadcast was a video montage of the past. It was especially memorable for 7-Up commercials at a time when 7-Up actually had a market share. It had these gooey Ronald McDonald commercials made with normal-sized children, and ads for a healthy JC Penney. We will miss the extra footage from our past. At least we can still enjoy Rudolph each year and wonder how our parents ever thought the show portrayed Santa in a positive light. It is an amazing way to show children of today that bullying not only existed in the 60's, but was encouraged if you were a reindeer or an elf.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dr. Who Christmas

The Tardis landed on our tree for the holidays. No sighting of the doctor yet. We're just hoping the Daleks don't show to roast a few chestnuts.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mixed Drinks

For years I mixed a lot of things with orange juice. I really like orange and pineapple juice and orange and mango juice. With the Simply Orange brand, I no longer need to mix those. Lately, rather than drinking the watered down hotel breakfast orange juice, I've taken to buying a large bottle when traveling and using the room fridge to keep it cold. With all that orange juice around, I've rediscovered the great taste of Sprite and orange juice mixed together.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


On the way to Geneva on the Lake...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013


The sign at the other end of this road said "Caution Rough Road." It looks like someone in southeastern Ohio has learned how to hack electronic road signs. It was college football Saturday, but there was no sign of the promised party.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Rice Cooker

I've lost count of how many rice cookers we have worn out over the years. Our rice cooker in Pennsylvania was the most recent to stop working. Ali replaced it with the Tatung model shown below.

The pink color is a little different for a rice cooker, but it works with our countertop color. Is it me or does the controls area look like the cartoon face of a fat baby crying? The tabs to hold the panel look like small ears. The lights look like a pair of eyes while the switch opening looks like a mouth and tongue. It's takes getting used to, but here's hoping we have many, many happy meals including rice from this cooker.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

They Are Back!

Big smiley face for the return of Hostess! They are back on the shelves. I was in a grocery store in Kendallville, Indiana and spotted them on the way to get orange juice. The new product seems to be more of a throwback to the Hostess products of my youth. The cupcakes were a little less sweet and quite tasty.

It has been a long time since they left the shelves, but I am happy they are back. I must admit, while Hostess was gone, I cheated with the product's Canadian sister, Vachon.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hotel Televisions

We live in a world filled with a wealth of technical toys and gadgets. After all these years, why hasn't someone worked out a hotel television that starts at the same volume you switched it off. Our television at home works normally, but hotel units all appear to turn on at very high volumes. When traveling, I do all I can to make the world peaceful for the other guests near my room, but my television never seems to cooperate.

The volume when the unit is switched on (18).

The volume I use when I watch a program. (4)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fisker Karma

I recently saw my first and last (?) Fisker Karma outside a local lunchtime eatery. At $100K this plug-in hybrid isn't within the budget of most tree huggers like me. It's $100,000 sticker doesn't seem to be catching on with too many auto enthusiasts either since there have been big layoffs followed by rumors of bankruptcy. Too bad, it is different, and the lines are pleasing to the eyes. Automotive history is littered with electric and near-electric vehicles that were little more than a blip on the horizon, but few had lines this nice.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chevy Tornado

The Chevy Tornado is one of those global vehicles which is not available in the states. The vehicle is sold in Brazil as the Chevy Montana and is based on an old European Opel platform. Anyone who remembers the old Chevy pick-up/car hybrid called the El Camino will be familiar with this concept. The Tornado is equipped only with a 4-cylinder and a five-speed transmission. In this US day of re-awakened fuel economy, the four wouldn't be a problem, but not many of us in the stateside can handle a manual transmission. The bed is a little short, but it holds a half-ton payload.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snack Smart

I don't have a great diet. I expect it is better than most, but not what one would call good. That said, I watch with amusement as people seem to distill their dietary knowledge on everyone these days. An understanding of the words moderation and exercise have been pitched out the window so we can collectively chase the next get healthy/stay in shape scheme which is promised to require no work or effort from us. I was visiting one of our sites when I noticed someone had taken it upon themselves to mark "good" junk food items in the machine.

Yep, frosted pop tarts are snack smarter in someone's world. At least they are in comparison to candy bars and chips.

I'm not sure how these stack up against the other offerings in the case, but at 400 calories and 340mg of sodium for the two-pack, I'm not sure I would spend the snack smarter sticker on these items.

I must admit to being prejudiced to the unfrosted variety. I was really suprised to see the unfrosted option checked in with just as many calories and even more sodium. Does that mean the frosted goop on top has no caloric value?

The other winner in the case with a snack smarter sticker was double salami.

While the calories are fairly low, I'm not certain too many doctors would be thrilled with a one-shot, couple-minute intake of 630mg sodium.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oorang Indians

Many major sports leagues had franchises in small towns in their early years, but LaRue, Ohio may have been the smallest when it was home to the Oorang Indians between 1922 and 1923. The franchise existed to promote a dog kennels in LaRue which was famous for oorang airedales. The breed continues to this day as a larger than normal airedale.

As for the Oorang Indians, they had the star status of Jim Thorpe and not much else. Despite having him as an amazing athlete, the team won only two games during its existence. The tiny town of LaRue only hosted one of the team's games. Most were played in nearby county seat Marion, Ohio.

The town of LaRue is still a quiet small town today. Its main street has a pizza place, a bank, a post office, and a number of small shops. It probably is not much changed from that one day when the great Jim Thorpe took the field.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Uh Oh

the page editor missed something... or the page owner really doesn't like candles...

Either way, it makes for a fun read

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Last Christmas Tree Lights

I grew up with a Christmas tree decorated with lots of lights. Our family tree was loaded with opaque C7 lights. The tree would glow so warm it would heat the thermostat and make the rest of the house cold during the season. My parents were always worried about starting a fire and telling us to limit the time the tree lights were on. When they became available, we decorated the tree with cool bright lights. Once mini-lights were introduced, I started to add them to the tree.

Most of our Christmas trees were the same decorated with cool bright bulbs and mini-lights. Then in 2007 we bought our first sets of LED lights. They were super and replaced our C7 bulbs. We kept the midget lights until this year. This year I found a great looking set of midget LED's and replaced on of the two midget light sets.

C7 Clear Lights at a whopping 143 degrees

LED replacements near room temperature 76 degrees

Mini lights at 115 degrees

Mini LED's at 76 degrees

The energy savings is amazing and the tree still looks great. Lighting an entire tree with 45 watts is a wonderful energy savings, and the LED's look great.

2003 with lights

2012 with LED's

Saturday, January 5, 2013


One a recent cross-country skiing adventure, we noticed our local park system has added a Fix-It station at one of the junctions. These are great helps for bikers who find themselves with a bike in need of repair while they are on an outing. We didn't need this today, but someday the snow will be gone, and our bikes will return.

Recycling Aid

A few months back, Ali bought soft-sided storage containers from our local grocery store. They were being sold as an alternative to cloth grocery bags and a better way to protect groceries. Ali thought they would make perfect bins to hold recycle items. She was right. We used to toss our recycles into a large plastic bag(s). The bag could roll in the car and the recycle items would be all over the vehicle. These containers put a stop to loose items rolling around and they fold flat so once the recycle material has been dropped off these collapse to about the size and thickness of a newspaper. Ours came from a local store, but these are available at many retail locations.