I thought maybe I could squeeze in another concert after seeing The Lumineers and Lord Huron last week. On our way home from St. Louis, my daughter and I stopped to visit with a cousin who is my daughter’s age and was spending a few weeks in central Illinois with a relative. That cousin let us know that the Macoupin County Fair was in full swing, so we decided to stop in and maybe see a concert. I was excited to see two possibilities.
Well, it turns out that Open Goat (great name for a band) is actually not a band, and it wasn’t much of a show. Just a bunch of goats in pens. And although it was tempting to hang around for the Beer Tent Band (a very pedestrian name for a band), I did not want to be in central Illinois that late with a four hour drive to get home. I also wasn’t sure if the band was playing in the Smoky Jennings Pavilion or a literally smoky Jennings Pavilion. There’s still a lot of smoking going on in rural central Illinois.
The trip home was excellent as we stopped to see some top notch roadside tourist attractions along the way. However, I sense a scandal brewing at the World’s Largest Covered Wagon in Lincoln, IL. Take a look and see if you can spot the problem.
I’m traveling again this week, this time to Minneapolis, Minnesota, so you know what that means for me – no foraging. And at the height of berry-picking season, too! My family is so thoughtless. I did forage some mulberries, black raspberries, and gooseberries before I left and stuck them in the refrigerator to await my return.
Apparently, our hotel has an issue with guests foraging some of their equipment. This sign was in their elevator.
Interstate 80, of course. That’s an old joke. Also known as I-80, this highway crosses the US from east to west and goes right through Iowa.
This past weekend, we drove 432 miles from our home in Illinois to Omaha, Nebaska on Saturday and back on Sunday for a wedding, most of it on I-80. We almost didn’t make it. Where were my dress shoes? Oh, there they were, back in the dark & dusty recesses of my closet.
I first had to evict the dust bunny that had made my right shoe its burrow. Then, I got the powerwasher out and did my best to clean my shoes. I think they turned out okay, although I may have had the powerwasher turned up just a bit too high. Take a look …
In this weird, semi-post-COVID world (get vaccinated!), I took my first business trip in many months. There is a candy/fudge/antiques/junk store situated on historic Route 66 that I always pass on my way to and from St. Louis. It was good to see it again, except she was gone. By she, I mean this large statue of a woman that beautifully graced the front of the store for many years.
For me, there was always an air of mystery about what was under that skirt. I don’t ever recall looking, but I also don’t recall not looking. Well, the mystery is solved. She’s been replaced by a gruesome creature and relegated to lying in the parking lot in her polka dot panties. Take a look.
One week ago, I woke up in Missouri. I had needed to go to my warehouse there for business for a while, but COVID is running rampant there. The St. Louis Cardinals can’t even play baseball. Due to COVID, the Cardinals have played 5 games. FIVE. My hometown Chicago White Sox have already played 19. There’s a serious COVID problem in Missouri.
I didn’t want to stay in any Missouri hotel or motel. I had no plan to stop anywhere at all on the way to the warehouse. I made arrangements to stay in the warehouse overnight, despite that warehouse being the site of a suicide many years ago. Gulp.
They had prepared a nice second floor loft space for me.
Although I brought an air mattress, the bed they had ready was appreciated, sort of.
I ventured out early morning today to the grocery store. Every grocery trip is a death-defying experience in the Age of Covid-19. The store I chose used to be open 24/7/365. Now it opens at 8AM per the guard at the north entrance. Yep, that’s what I read on the sign behind him. He told me I could wait in line. It was 6AM. I chose to walk back to my car past the south entrance where I was told by the guard there that I could walk right in. I’m guessing he recognized me from this blog as a major social media influencer. He probably feared that I could shut down their regional chain of 242 stores with one bad review on this blog.
I returned home as a hero, primarily because of this treasure I had plundered from the store …
Chicago is a world-class metropolitan area, despite New York snobs looking down upon us as “The Second City.” I feel privileged to have lived in various suburbs within a short car ride of Chicago my whole life. One of the suburbs I haven’t lived in is Forest Park. It is close to Chicago as you can see here …
Although I have never lived there, it appears that Jesus does. Take a look …
I was in a fit of pique Tuesday night over Trump’s potential war with Iran. I felt like that was the last straw. I was done with the USA. Sure, I will be on the ballot in Spring of 2020 as a candidate for Democratic Precinct Committeperson. But do I really want to live in a country that would elect me for any position?
First things first though. I needed to get my middle daughter up to Milwaukee for some dance thing in preparation for her dancing in Milwaukee over the summer. Yes, she’s majoring in dance in college. That’s the good news. The bad news is that she’s returning to college for a fifth year so she can also major in history. I’m not sure if she plans to be a dancing historian or a historical dancer.
After dumping my daughter off in downtown Milwaukee, my first sightseeing stop was the Arthur Fonzarelli statue. Who, you ask? That would be Fonzie from the old Happy Days television show, as portrayed by actor Henry Winkler. I’d love to show the selfie I took with The Fonz, but I couldn’t find the statue. In fairness, I didn’t look hard and didn’t leave the car. So as not to disappoint this blog’s readers (as if I could disappoint you even more than normal), here’s a pic I found on the internet.
I was on the road again this week, and may have discovered the best hotel ever. Okay, so maybe some Trump Hotel properties are nicer, am I right?
I walked into my hotel behind a business dude all dressed up in a fancy suit. I saw him look at me with a bit of disdain. In fairness to him, the jeans I had on were super-faded, threadbare, and frayed. I am sure the biz guy was wondering who the homeless guy behind him stole the nice luggage from that I was rolling behind me.
The biz exec checked in as a Gold member. I saw the welcome sign in the lobby with his name on it under the Gold Member column … right next to my name as a freakin’ Platinum member. The hotel counter worker greeted the biz dude with “Thank you for being a Gold member.” I wanted to somehow, someway keep the businessman in the lobby as I bellied up to the counter to check in just so he would hear the counter guy greet me with, “Thank you for being a Platinum member.” Yes, I can be that petty. However, I let him exit the lobby and I had to be satisified with my Platinum member bonus points.
I was a little bummed until I saw this on my hotel room door …
I headed out the other day on another business trip. As I drove southwest on a beautiful early fall afternoon, I rolled down the windows and enjoyed the feeling of the warm sun on my skin and the wind blowing through my hair … on my arms. I couldn’t help notice that as the sun illuminated my arm hair, it glistened with a reddish hue. Being part Irish, having reddish hair shouldn’t be unexpected, but I hadn’t noticed it before. That was disconcerting, but not as distressing as seeing this when I checked into my hotel room that evening …
I sometimes use the expression “dumb as a box of rocks” or “dumb as a bag of hammers.” I think we need a new one using the Trump family name. Is “dumb as a family of Trumps” sufficient? I like the rhyming sound of “box of rocks.” Maybe we can come up with something rhyming with Trump. Some ideas …
Dumb as a chump named Trump
Dumb as a trash dump of Trumps
Dumb as a toxic waste dump of Trumps
We can ruminate on those. Regardless, I feel dumb as a Trump. I was thrilled to have booked my company’s first ever export order to the country of Lesotho. Now I knew Lesotho was in Africa, but I wasn’t sure if it is east or west coast. Neither! It is a land-locked country in the middle of South Africa.
My summer vacation is over. Sadly, I never did solve any of the mysteries at the old lake house we stayed at. However, we did have fun there. I took some time to touch nature.
Rather, nature touched me. And hey, what’s with not shaving when I know I’m going to have my picture taken with a dragonfly on my nose? And what’s with that wild hair from my eyebrow? I wish I had such wild hair on the top of my head. The family pics would look better. Here’s a family pic we took at a science museum in Milwaukee we visited.
Doesn’t that sound like a Scooby-Doo episode? Well, we certainly have mysteries at this vacation lake house we are staying at for a few days. First, I discovered this mysterious trap door in the floor in one of the closets.
Mystery #1 – Why was I rooting around the floors of the closets in someone else’s house?
Yes, of course I tried to open it. You can see it is screwed down tight. Fortunately, my ten year old daughter had a screwdriver.
Mystery #2 – Why is my ten year old daughter bringing a screwdriver on vacation?
But before I could solve that mystery, I received this mysterious text message from the owners of the lake house …
I haven’t posted in almost a week. Followers of this blog are rejoicing. However, questions are raised.
Where is he?
Has he gone back into the witness protection program?
Will he promise to stop posting forever?
Does the lack of posts have anything to do with Trump’s supposed border immigration agreement with Mexico?
They say the week before a vacation and the week after are the 2 busiest weeks of the year. Add in business travel to the week before I take a vacation to make it even busier and less post-friendly. So that’s where I am now. On vacation, or on holiday as they say in the UK, or England as we say in the USA, or the Kingdom of Trumpland as they say in the White House, or Crazytown as I say. Ugh, a nice vacation/holiday post ruined by Trump. Let’s get this back on track with a pretty sunset pic from our vacation lake house.
Beautiful sunset notwithstanding, I do have problems with this lake house, and surprise of surprises, it has to do with a familiar subject …
I’m on the road again, and I had a welcome gift awaiting me in my room when I checked-in to my hotel night. No, not a mint on my pillow. I found this ready, open, and “broken-in” for my use in my shower …
Being on the road again, I had hoped to bring you some Americana sightseeing tales and pics. However, inclement weather interceded, so I will bring you another travel tip. I know what you’re thinking, “Please, not another post about hotel soap.”
“But … but … hotel soap is an integral part of my business travel,” I protest. How about a Trumpy soap post? I know you want it. Let’s go.
When presented with 2 soap choices, always use the smaller one and take the larger soap home.
Now, I know Trump supporters may struggle with how to determine which is larger and which is smaller. I’ll try and make it relatable for them.
I had never stayed at a Microtel hotel before. I had always been leery of the ‘micro’ part. Was it a very small hotel, or was it a hotel that catered to very small people? I wasn’t sure, but I booked a night at a Microtel in Springfield, IL due to the very small nightly cost.
I was ready for anything, even this.
It looked nicely normal as I walked into the lobby to check in. The indoor pool is always of interest to me, and it was right off the lobby, so I took a peek at the pool. Uh-oh. This sign poolside explained a lot.
Many of you will be traveling over this Thanksgiving weekend.
Meanwhile, I’ll be stuffing my pie hole with, well, pie I guess since I don’t eat turkey.
But I did travel last week, and while I sent you a scintillating story about my hotel room’s light switch, I did not blather in this blog about my bathtub in my other hotel room. It was something special, and something I did not expect from a Super 8. Take a look … Continue reading “Down the Drain”→