A Defeated Hero

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 …

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Jesus Visits the Second City

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 …

Forest Park

Although I have never lived there, it appears that Jesus does. Take a look …

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Goodbye USA, Hello Talossa

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.

Fonz Bronze

Looks fun … until you get close. Take a look.

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Best Hotel Ever?

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?

vomit baby

Agreed.

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 …

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Hotel Hell

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 …

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Dumb as a Trump in Geography

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.

Lesotho

OK, so I get a C- in geography for the day. Hey, I got the continent correct. But then I saw this and felt dumb as a chump named Trump. Continue reading

Vacation Wrap-up

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.

Dragonfly4

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.

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Mysteries at the Old Lake House

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.

trap-door.jpg

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 …

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Coming Clean About Vacation

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.

Sunset at 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 …

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Time to Come Clean

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.soap1.jpg

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.

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Microtel All

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.

hotel pod

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.

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Down the Drain

Many of you will be traveling over this Thanksgiving weekend.

ha ha.gif

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 …
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Tall Tales of Fact & Fantasy

I was really pleased with the name and logo I chose for my winless fantasy football team in my family’s league last week … Supreme Injustices.

Injustice crop

For this week, I wanted to feature Paul Manafort, especially after hearing that he made a court appearance sitting in a wheelchair in prison clothes while missing a shoe. When I think of Manafort in a wheelchair, I start wishing for this …

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No Smell Hotel

I’m on the road again for business this week, but decided to stop and see my middle daughter at college along the way. It was a good place to stay for the night as it is about halfway to my business destination, and I found a hotel in town that would cost me all of $45, including tax. More importantly, this hotel did not have a number as part of its name. But how could it be a numberless hotel and be so cheap? I pulled into the parking lot with a bit of trepidation, but it was only one night. I was ready for the worst.

I entered the lobby and sniffed. No smell like I would expect from a $45 hotel. It looked neat and clean. I asked the desk clerk why it was so cheap, er economically-priced I quickly corrected before he could assign me to the murder room with a chalk outline on the floor. He had no idea. “Corporate,” he explained without actually explaining anything.

I continued to sniff like Donald Trump at a press conference as I headed down the hallway to my room. Nothing. I opened the room. Sniff, sniff. Nothing. It was a nice, clean, odor-free room. I was tired and fell asleep faster than if I had been at an actuarial seminar.

I had a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling good. I opened the drapes to see how the morning looked. It looked something like this …

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The Butterfly Effect

I’m not sure if I believe in the Butterfly Effect. If you are unfamiliar with the term, in chaos theory, the Butterfly Effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. Not only am I not sure I believe it, but I also may not understand it. Let’s try that again. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is a scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. If you still don’t understand, just watch the 2004 movie with Ashton Kutcher. I grow weary of trying to explain it to anyone who would read this blog.

As I returned from my business trip this week, I got a bit worried when I saw this …

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23 Hours in Orlando – Part 1

I had been dreading my business trip to Orlando. My dread was not unfounded as it got off to an inauspicious start.

I can’t afford to fly first class, and nothing about me would ever be considered first class. But since I have very long legs, I prefer extra legroom on my flights, so I paid a bit extra to guarantee a seat in the emergency exit row. As I flopped down into my seat, I couldn’t help but notice that it was a tad tight around my tush.

I’m about the only person who considers me fat. I’m 6’1” tall and about 190 lbs. If I convert that to metric, I think that’s 18.25 hands high with a weight of 13.5 stones. Anyway, I’d like to be 6’ 2” tall and 180 lbs. I’ve failed miserably recently at both gaining height and reducing weight. A little less weight would have been nice in that airline seat. Kim Kardashian may have struggled to get all her implants situated in the seat. I am sure there would have been offers of assistance. The bottom (pun intended) line is that the seat was tight for me.

This is the part of the blog post where I walk the line between being politically correct and a jerk. Oh, you thought that was the previous paragraph? Read on if you dare. You have been warned.

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Milestones

I’m off to Orlando on a business trip which once again underscores the complete lack of glamour in business travel. There is no place I would like to be less than the land of heat, humidity, and screaming kids at the height of summer. The trade show I am attending used to be held in Miami Beach in the summer. It was a lot easier for me to justify heading to the ocean than staying in the Mouse’s house nowhere near the ocean, but right in the midst of tens of thousands of vacationing kids. I truly dread this trip.

As I prepped for this trip, I realized that I had once again surpassed a couple milestones.

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Why I Love Chicago

There are lots of reasons to love living in the Chicago area. For example, I loved being able to see the hit Broadway musical called Hamilton this past weekend. We drove. My rule is that if we are headed to Chicago for a big event, we take the train. If no big event is happening that will draw tens or hundreds of thousands of people to Chicago at the same time we are going, we drive. Or if our 10 year old daughter is coming with us, she overrules all and insists on a train ride.

On the day we headed into Chicago to see Hamilton, I knew of a march happening on the actual busiest expressway in the USA outside of California. That would be the Dan Ryan Expressway that often looks like this …

dan ryan

 

Yikes! My oldest son drives that to get to work. The march was to protest gun violence, but I knew it was taking place far south of downtown where we were headed. Here’s a quick look at the march …

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Is Cheese a Breakfast?

Every month I visit the same company in St. Louis, and have never stayed in the hotel  just down the street from the company, until this trip. I think the reason I have avoided this hotel is because it has no pool and I wasn’t aware that this hotel chain was part of my travel rewards program. It still has no pool, but it turns out that it has been part of my travel rewards program only for the last 13 years. Huh. Oh, and no free breakfast is offered. Free breakfasts are an important part of my hotel stays since I tend to take enough food to stretch it well past breakfast in order to cover snacks throughout the day and even lunch.

At check-in, I was pleased to have been offered bonus travel program points, and then settled into my room. Imagine my delight upon seeing this …

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The Future of my Dad Bod

My dad bod was on full display at the hotel pool while on vacation last week. Fortunately, every time I hit the hotel pool, there was nobody else there. Maybe the reason the pool was empty was because I hit the hotel pool with my dad bod. Regardless, nobody got to see my dad bod except for my wife, my daughter and my niece, although I swear I caught them averting their eyes.

averting eyes

The dad bod discussion was back on the radio recently as the radio personalities reminded me that 2/3 of women are supposed to prefer the dad bod to a rock hard man bod. This survey was offered as proof …

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My Wife Has Forgotten the Concept of the Free Hotel Breakfast

Many years ago when we had just two kids, my wife and I wanted to take them to Disney World. One of the biggest problems was lack of cash. My wife rejected my idea of hitchhiking down to Florida, and suggested we stay at a modest hotel that offered a free breakfast as a way to save money. Wow, that sounded boring and full of common sense, but that’s what we did. At that free hotel breakfast, we not only ate our morning meal, but we squirreled away food in every pocket and bag we could bring to the breakfast area without arousing suspicion.

Marge coat with pockets

Those muffins, boxes of cereal, and fruit became our snacks at Disney throughout the day. After one day of walking a Disney theme park with my pants pocket soaked in grease, I stopped taking bacon.

With that history, I was surprised to see this yesterday morning after breakfast …

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Sort of Closed for Vacation

This will be a spotty week for this blog, although that sounds like an accurate description of every week for this blog. We said good-bye today to our beloved family member of the canine variety after 14 & 1/2 years. We’ll miss you Gus.

Gus

Yeah, those lumps on his chest were tumors that were possibly cancerous and perhaps did him in. That, and being old. RIP little buddy.

I also am transitioning from one computer to another, so that is a royal pain. On top of that, we are headed to Michigan for a short vacation visiting relatives for a few days. They’re nice relatives, relatively speaking. Did you know that Michigan beaches are some of the best in the world? Of course, the relatives we are visiting live smack dab in the middle of Michigan, nowhere close to those beaches.

Based on what is going on in the USA these days with imprisoning children, I am tempted to drive right through Michigan to Canada and never look back. Gus has gone on to a better place. These days Canada is better than the USA, so why not the rest of us?

I am hoping some things catch my eye as we make our journey, and I get inspired to post a wacky pic or observation. But even if I don’t, you can be sure I’ll be back this weekend with a new Sunday Mite Be Funny.

 

 

Brew Review – 3 Floyds

It appears that I may be making the rounds of some local breweries on a regular basis, so why not share my review? Maybe because my readers are all over the world and unlikely to visit a local Chicago area brewery? That’s never stopped me before from writing about stuff that nobody wants to read.

We visited 3 Floyds Brewery in Munster, Indiana, just a few miles southeast of Chicago.

floyd2

Is that all full of beer? My friends that I went with certainly hoped so. Me? Not so much. I was the designated driver. Sigh!

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Is This Really an Edible Thing?

As I traveled through central America on business this past week, I encountered a strange food choice. No, not roasted tarantula.

tarantula

I wasn’t in Central America, but central America. Yes, St Louis again. Sigh! I was at the counter of a Jack in the Box fast food restaurant. Although that is a misnomer as I have found that fast food outside of greater Chicagoland is not really fast. In Chicago, we expect someone to be holding our bag of food next to the counter person BEFORE we even place our order. Once I get outside the greater Chicago area, life slows down a bit and I have gotten used to waiting for my “fast” food.

And wait I did at this Jack in the Box. All hell was breaking loose as I waited for my fish sandwich with about 15 other people waiting for their food. At one point, the counter dude yelled out “Who’s angry and wants a refund?” While I waited bemusedly, my eagle eyes spotted this sign about 10 feet directly in front of me at the counter …

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Inn From the Cold

After a wonderful first night on the road for business travel, I reluctantly checked out. I was ready for a letdown. Disappointment was oozing from my pores, but not because I was pondering my substandard business career or failures as a father, husband and friend like I usually do, but because my next hotel was not an Inn & Suites, but just an Inn. There is no way that just an Inn could be as good as an Inn with Suites. I was right. It was not just as good.

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Inn & Out

After my first night’s decadent stay on the road, I unfortunately found myself checking out in the morning. When I opened my room’s door in the morning, I found this surprising item on the floor outside my room …

bill on floor

It was certainly not a used condom like I am used to seeing in most of the places I normally stay. What could it possibly be?

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My Business Trip Was Ruined

When I travel on business, I like to squeeze in a cultural or sporting event when I can. Keeping in mind that I was traveling to St Louis this week, I set my expectations low. How low? I was planning to stop at the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum in Atlanta, Illinois on my drive home.

grain

Why? Well, because of the Woodbine Glass Museum, of course! I’ll explain.

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