Entries from blogs tagged with “Lifestyle”

So Much to See #12 (3/16/2008)

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It still surprises me when I find places in town that I haven't come across before. This week's picture is of one such place. Most of the pictures I post have at least some quality that draws my eye to them from among those that I take. Not so this week. It's kind of a drab photo taken on an overcast day.What did draw me this week was that this is a place I didn't know existed.

I don't often make it to the part of town where it is located. No, it's not really anything special. It's just a little different. Some place you wouldn't notice if it wasn't in your neighborhood...and maybe not even then.So this week, I'll give a few hints. It isn't a Lawrence landmark, like Hobbs field, the Castle Tea Room, or the locomotive in the "Train Park" . Nor is it located on a major street.It has a name, but I'd never heard of it before, even though I've spent most of my adult life living here in Lawrence. It is located in a quiet section of town. I suspect it doesn't see many visitors. But today, one of the last few grey days of winter, it was there.

Today I went looking for something I hadn't seen before--and I found it.

Same rules as always

Somehow the trees remind me of those from The Wizard of Oz , with their arms/limbs reaching upward.


Here is the complete picture. Click to see a larger image:

I still think it would be scary walking among those trees on a dark, stormy night.Patty and Dorothy had the right idea, but Cody is the one who named the park:


Shuttle Night Launch

Watching a Shuttle launch at night is an incredible experience. Below are three amateur videos of last night's launch, shot from across the water near Titusville and Cape Canaveral, each are about 10 miles from the launch pad. You can hear one group listen to a radio broadcast of the launch and feel the excitement as the count reaches zero.The rockets are so bright that they illuminate the low hanging clouds. The shuttle disappears into the low clouds pretty soon after launch, so the spectacle is briefer than usual, but also more stunning. After the video goes dark, you can hear the sound from the launch finally reach the camera. Even though it is 10 miles away, you can hear the crackling sound of the rockets.I hope they give you a taste of the wonder and awe of a Space Shuttle launch:
Here is another youtube video. Note the glowing clouds as the shuttle rises through them.
And one more, this is the best quality video and audio of the 3:


So Much to See #11 (3/9/2008)

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Next:SMTS #12

Where is it? What is it? I'll let you know if you're the first person who correctly identifies the subject of the picture from the small part shown below . Each day I'll add an image that shows more of the entire scene.



It is Clinton park, by Pinckney Elementary. punkrockmom nailed it on the 2nd comment. I knew it was to easy! Here is the full picture, Click on it for a larger image:


Amazing Sidewalk Art

Julian Beever does chalk drawings on sidewalks. When you follow the link at the bottom, remember that the drawings are made on flat sidewalks with colored chalk. They must be seen from a specific point, preferably through a camera lens, for the illusion to appear. They are amazing.Let me repeat:They are amazing.Julian Beever's official siteNote that a couple of the pictures show the drawings from the "wrong" perspective to show how it is done.Here is one of my favorites:


Road Trip Sandwiches

A sandwich, salad and drink is the perfect road trip meal. It may be hot or cold, fat or thin, open or closed. Sometimes the good ones are hard to locate. If a traveler passing through asked where to find a good sandwich locally, these two would be my suggestion.Grilled Portabella at Wheatfields Bakery . Of course, I would enjoy a butter sandwich with any of their delicious breads.Planet Veggie with among other things, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and tangy olive spread at Yello or Planet Sub Both of these favorites are in downtown Topeka.Hot beef sandwich at the Downtowner just east of 6th and Kansas Ave. Worth the trip just for the retro cafe atmosphere.The Reubenstein at Classic Bean. Really, any of their sandwiches named after famous composers are good.On the way to visit family in Colorado we stop for homemade bierocks at Made from Scratch in Wilson, Kansas. It is a good half way lunch stop. Before re entering I70 at the Wilson exit, stop at the Flint Hills Winery tasting room for a bottle of wine, cheese and crackers, almost as good as a sandwich.The Hot Brown was first invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Although the hotel restaurant was closed when we were there, we sampled the hot open faced sandwich at a restaurant recommended by a security guard at Churchill Downs. It was delicious but very rich.A Lobster Roll is easy to find in Maine. Small locally owned walk up places are frequent in the coastal cities. They are good, but quite honestly, I would rather have a fried walleye shore lunch sandwich, the fish freshly caught.A hot dog will certainly taste good when purchased downtown Chicago. Is there a better dog than at a football game? Yes, there is one better at the Art Fair in Breckenridge, Colorado, because it features caramelized onions. Probably the ultimate is a hot dog cooked over a bonfire.If you also have a sudden interested in sandwiches, check out the article, Best Sandwiches in America. Another gathering of lists of sandwiches is at Roadfood. The book, American Sandwich looks like a traveler's sandwich bible.These are my favorites. Additions encouraged.


The Luther Burger

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Mar/02/PA1207_The-ladys-brunch-hurger_e.jpgI just watched Paula Deen cook up a southern brunch. On the menu? Chocolate chip pancakes with cinnamon cream, garlic cheese grits and bacon cheeseburgers served on Krispy Kreme Glazed doughnuts.What?!That's right. A bacon cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut instead of a bun. Intrigued by this, I went straight to the computer and Googled this concoction. Turns out, the official name is the Luther Burger, named after R&B legend Luther Vandross. From Wikipedia: "According to urban legend, the Luther Burger was invented at Mulligan's bar in the Oakhurst, neighborhood of Decatur, Georgia, one day when the cook ran out of hamburger buns and decided to use two donuts instead. Its creator named the sandwich after R&B legend Luther Vandross, who reportedly enjoyed the sandwich; some rumors claim that Vandross himself invented his namesake burger."Has anyone tried this? I can't imagine the amount of calories and fat and goodness a bite of this burger contains. I challenge anyone to try this at home and post the results here (photos included). Here's Paula's recipe if you're interested:1 1/2 pounds ground beef 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves 2 tablespoons grated onion House Seasoning2 tablespoons butter 3 eggs 6 slices bacon, cooked 3 hamburger buns 3 English muffins 6 glazed donutsMix the ground beef, chopped parsley and grated onion together in a large mixing bowl. Season liberally, with House Seasoning. Form 3 hamburger patties. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add the burgers and cook until desired temperature, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Fry bacon in a hot pan until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside. While burgers are cooking, heat a non-stick pan, over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter. Crack 3 eggs into the pan. Cook until the yolks are just set and still slightly runny and remove. Place burger patties on English muffins or buns, and if desired, on glazed donuts, as the buns. Top each burger with 2 pieces of bacon and a fried egg.


So Much to See #10 (3/2/2008)

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Next:SMTS #11

Below is a small portion of a picture taken somewhere in the Lawrence city limits. It may be something you've never noticed before.Each day I'll post an image that shows a larger part of the full picture. I'll notify the first person who identifies the location and subject of the picture.


Image #2:

Hint #1:The picture was taken somewhere in the blue rectangle below.

View Larger MapImage #3:

Image #4:

The EleventhStephanie identified the house at 15th (actually 1501) Pennsylvania) first. Here is the entire picture:
(Click on picture to see a larger image)


So, Starbucks …

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Feb/28/starbucks-IV.jpgI'm sure you've heard about Starbuck's recent "Espresso Retraining". It was all over the news. All of the Starbucks in the country (save for the "licensed stores" in supermarkets, airports, etc.) closed down on Tuesday evening to retrain their baristas on the finer points of Starbucks academia. Now, I appreciate Lawrence's local coffee establishments and love them to death. But there's something to be said about being able to walk into any Starbucks and order a drink, getting the exact same version in Honolulu as you do in Bangor, Maine. But recently, Starbucks seems to have lost its way. And their "re-training" is supposed to focus on getting the company back to its roots: coffee.That said, I did some Googling about Starbucks. 99 percent of the results were from people hating on the corporation and praising the spirit of their local, independent coffee joints. One link caught my eye, though. "The most expensive Starbucks drink". A blogger recently set out to use his free drink coupon from Starbucks and order the most expensive coffee concoction he could come up with. The resulting $13.76 order:"A 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel."Here's the link to his story: http://anerroroccurredwhileprocessingthisdirective.com/2007/09/28/the-most-expensive-drink-at-starbucks/So, can you top him? I know my double venti drip (or "Shot in the Dark" or "Red Eye") only sets me back a couple of bucks. I could buy almost seven of these caffeine laded pleasures for the price of his one. (Requisite Starbuck hating expected in the following user comments).


So Much to See #9 1/2 (2/27/2008)

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Since this week's image was guessed on the first comment, here is an extra picture. The entire picture is below, no sequence of gradually expanding images this time.



So Much to See #9 (2/24/2008)

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Next:SMTS #9 1/2

This one is easy. This week I return to the original rules. The first iamge below is a small part of a much larger picture. A larger image will be posted each day. The first person to correctly identify the place or "thing" will be notified by me. The rest will just have to wait until a picture that they can identify is posted, or the answer given.This week's first image:

So now I know what a finial is.

Image #3:

A view of Watkins Museum from the alley to the west:


Frozen Waterfall in Estonia

I saw this video of a waterfall in Estonia. High winds caused ice to cover nearby objects in a fascinating natural masterpiece.http://youtube.com/watch?v=kAIyVzv1zkM


Riding on the City of New Orleans

Here's a little piece of trivia for you music-lovers out there:Who was the first person to record Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans"?(Hint: It wasn't Arlo Guthrie.)It's amazing what a clip of music can do. Whenever I hear a certain version of "City of New Orleans" I can feel the train wheels rolling beneath the floor, feel the jerk of the car that eventualy lulled me to sleep. I remember how it felt to walk between the train cars and how at first it seemed like a sudden lurch might toss me into someone's lap! I can see sunset all awash with pinks and lavenders in Chicago, the stop in Kankakee, morning in Memphis, the cotton fields of Mississippi and the swampy ground alongside the Pontchartrain.I took a train trip to New Orleans in early June of 2005, just months before Katrina. We took the Southwest Chief to Chicago--my mother and brother, Mark, and I--from the dank and deserted Lawrence depot. There, I was delighted (and also bruised from tumbling down the busy escalator with my suitcase) to find that the train heading south really WAS The City of New Orleans. No kidding. For two nights and a day and a half, as our train rolled south, I heard Willie Nelson singing "City of New Orleans" in my head. As we passed the cotton fields, Mother kept singing over and over, "I never picked cotton..."It was a marvelous trip, in spite of a few flaws. For instance, the train to Chicago ran out of food in the club car. Mark and I split a muffin for lunch. We heard the same movie about six times in the lounge. ( Who needs a movie when you've got such scenery, I wondered?) On the last leg of the journey home, we half wondered if they'd stop the train for us here in Lawrence. Or would they simply boot us out the door as the train slowed for a curve? These weren't flaws, really. They're something to look back on a laugh overm just as much as our days in New Orleans.So I was thrilled to read in the paper of Amtraks proposal to expand services south. It'd be great if we could all see this country by train. We need to use our rails again. But first of all, they do need to be more efficient. And our depot does need a lot of attention. (When we set out, we weren't even sure if we were in the right place. The place was so dark, so empty.)I hope the Kansas Legislature will support this plan!By the way...Any guesses on the trivia question? I'll be in later with the answer.


So Much to See #8 (2/17/2008)

Previous:SMTS #7
Next:SMTS #9

This week, for reasons known only to me, the sequence of images will be different. Instead of an image which gradually expands, I'll be post small sections from different parts of the picture. I normally add one new image each day, but this time I will post additional snippets of the picture more often, probably twice a day.If you are the first person who correctly identifies the place or object, I'll send you a message to let you know you're correct. Everyone else will just have to keep looking.Cody is currently the undisputed master of this game. Take him down!This week's first image:


Here is a different part of the picture:

I said I would add images more frequently, here is another:

And another piece:
http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Feb/19/DSC_0769d.JPGAnd another:

The blue baloon marks the location of this week's location:

View Larger MapHere is the picture of the train at Buford M. Watson Park:


Click on the picture to see a larger image:


Surprise Sunday Snow


Space Station and Shuttle Visible Tonight

The Space Station, with the Space Shuttle still be docked, will pass overhead this evening. Look to the northwest about 6:48 PM (the article says 6:28, but that is incorrect). Although it should be even brighter than usual, it will be visible for only 3-4 minutes as it passes over and goes below the eastern horizon. Even if there are a few clouds, it should not be hard to locate.


Google Street View: Cool? Scary? Both?

Yesterday I noticed that Google Maps, a tool I use frequently, had a new button at the top of the map. The button "Street View" was something I'd heard about a few months ago.Clicking the button, I saw most of the roads in Lawrence become highlighted in blue. As I zoomed in closer, a little virtual man appeared on the map. Clicking on him caused a picture to appear above his head. The picture was a view of the city street where he was "standing". With my mouse, I was able to pan the picture around and get a 360 degree view from that location.Then I used my mouse to drag him to near where I live. From within the picture, you can not only pan, but, by clicking on the arrows superimposed on the picture, move up and down the street.Soon I had navigated to my street and then to where my house is. I panned around to the right and there was my car sitting in the driveway!Before I go farther I should say that these picture were clearly taken in summer, probably last summer. THEY ARE NOT REAL TIME IMAGES. Google has sent a vehicle around to take these pictures. It has a camera with a 360 degree view on top. Some of you have seen it, as I'll describe later. It may have been a van, or a car with a spherical camera mounted above the roof.Speaking of people who have seen it, I noticed that the blue lines (which shows those streets which have been mapped with images) extended up north of Lawrence in to Jefferson county, where my Aunt lives.I found their road and as I "approached" (virtually that is) their house I first saw my one of my cousins driving his ATV down the road, past the camera vehicle. As I approached the house, my other cousin was clearly visible on a riding lawnmower, mowing his mother's grass.Cool? Absolutely. A little scary? Maybe. One thing I'm sure of, this is only the beginning. It will only get better... or maybe worse, depending upon your perspective.The Journal World's Christine Metz also had an article on Street View" which has more information.For those of you who follow my So Much to See blog postings, here is another hint for the lastest image. It uses Google Street View to let you search the area where this week's landmark is located. Navigate around a bit and you will see the subject of this weeks picture.BTW. I've been working with the LHS Robotics Club and hope to soon have some pictures and information as they prepare for this year's US First robot competition.


Feral Hog Problem Addressed

Feral hogs once again reared their ugly heads in the upper Wildlife and Parks region of Clinton Lake. Only this time, USDA Animal Control Specialist, Chad Richardson and his staff were there.First spotted in 2002, the wild pigs have been a continuing problem to private landowners and farmers leasing farmland in the Wildlife and Parks hunting area. I personally became concerned when I spotted a group walking across the pasture directly behind our home, an area where our grandchildren play.The Lawrence Journal World reported the USDA helicopter flight on March 17, 2006. In June, 2006 the Kansas Legislature passed a bill banning public hunting of feral hogs. Finally, in a story on January 25, 2007, George Teagarden, Kansas Livestock Commission announced they would fly again in the spring of 2007 reported here. Although the problem continued to receive attention, I did not feel there was a united effort against the growing population. We continued to see them, often a sow leading a group of babies.The USDA, Kansas Livestock Commission and Kansas Wildlife and Parks handling of the feral hog problem in our valley has received criticism. I, personally, felt the helicopter could not be completely effective over our valley because of the foliage. Others felt the ban on hunting did not make sense. Meanwhile, the farmers continued to lose crops. Two were hit on the road with damage to vehicles. It seemed the problem had no practical solution.It all changed December of 2007. It was the Holidays, but Chad Richardson was on the job. He paid us a visit and indicated he was ready to work on the hog population.Thanks to Richardson's long hours and local cooperation, a coordinated program of trapping began. The ban on hunting kept the hogs localized in the valley. As a result, 60 hogs were caught in live traps the months of December and January. The helicopter flew again on February 4, 2008 with 23 taken at that time.Although there may be feral hogs left in the valley, I applaud Richardson for his efforts in removing 83 of them. I, for one, will feel safer walking down the valley road this spring.


So Much to See #7 (2/10/2008)

Previous:SMTS #6
Next:SMTS #8

Where is it? What is it?Here is this week's image, and I'm even including a hint. The small patches of white? That is snow.Does that help? <grin>


2nd image:

Image #3:

Image #4:

The final image of the gazebo at Centennial Park:

Here is a map, the Centennial gazebo is marked by the blue baloon:

View Larger Map


When you wish upon a star…

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Feb/10/images.jpgWikipedia is such a wonderful resource that I often find myself browsing it for hours on end. I will see something on television, or think of something to look up and just get lost in it's neverending pages of articles.I've only been to Walt Disney World twice in my life. The first time I was only three years old; the second time my parents took me and my sister while I was in middle school. When you search for Disney World on Wikipedia, you can find the history and all sorts of cool secrets about the parks.But, I found myself entranced with a page that details a long list of strange and unusual incidents that have taken place at the parks over the years.Take eighteen year old Deborah Gail Stone, who was crushed to death between a revolving wall and a staionary platform on the America Sings attraction at Disneyland in California.Or nineteen year old Thomas Cleveland who was struck and killed by the monorail which dragged him 40 feet down the track after he had tried to sneak into the park by climbing onto the monorail track.Or poor Bogden Delaurot, who drowned while trying to swim across the Rivers of America in Disneyland. He and his brother had hid on the island past closing time, but didn't quite make it across the river when they decided to leave the park.And then there's the unfortunate story of Javier Cruz who, dressed as Pluto, was run over by the Beauty and the Beast parade float at the Magic Kingdom in Florida.I could go on. . .But, here's the Wikipedia page. Read some for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incidents_at_Disney_parks



THE REAL MIKE HUCKABEE: House Bill 1525 by Rep. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, was approved by the House but eventually failed in the Senate. Huckabee reiterated Wednesday that he believes every child, regardless of their parent's immigration status, should have an opportunity to receive an education in the U.S.MORE ABOUT MR. HUCKABEE:http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2005/06/30/News/323746.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/25/AR2007112501547_pf.htmlhttp://www.huckabeefacts.org/ http://www.worldmag.com/articles/12679 http://cofcc.org/?p=1018http://www.chequer-board.net/story/2007/12/21/155136/04 http://www.dailycampus.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticleComments&ustory_id=0d52d1b9-1ae0-4e3b-8353-7d653899bac6&refsource=collegeheadlineshttp://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2007/12/019190.php http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/1/4/144236/0317 http://www.firesociety.com/forum/thread/20933/Huckabee-calls-for-end-of-Anchor-Babies/The media has successfully fragmented the Republican vote and pumped their favorite (NOT OURS) RINO (Republican In Name Only) McCain. It's a win win for the Liberal Socialists who are in the process of hijacking the Republican Party AND the country.JOHN MCCAIN, THE DEMOCTRATS FAVORITE CHOICEHere are links to articles that really expose John McCain for who he is:http://www.alipac.us/article2920.htmlhttp://media.citizensunited.org/Surprisingly.htm. It's a killer for McCain.There is still time to give Romney enough of a push to keep the race competitive. The power of the internet is incredible. Please make use of it! Email ANY and EVERYONE you know who will be voting on Tuesday and let them know just how disastrous it would be to vote for McCain. Educate them as to why and turn them on to Mitt Romney.I've met him on several occasions and was at the MA Rep. convention when we nominated him for Governor there. Tell them to get on the Romney bandwagon and help the guy out at: http://www.mittromney.com.Besides emails, you can make phone calls AND write/submit letters to editors online and at major metropolitan newspapers http://www.newslink.org/news.html around the country.HELP STOP RINO JOHN MCCAIN AND HIS SECRET PARTNER, HUCKABEE!!A vote for RINO (Republican In Name Only) John McCain is a vote for the following:ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: he wrote the bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrants (co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy).SOCIAL SECURITY: he voted to give your social security money to illegal immigrants.TAXES: he voted against the Bush tax cuts multiple times (he has since flip-flopped and has campaigned as a lifelong tax-cutter).RHETORIC: he routinely engages in Democratic class warfare against big companies in America, particularly the "evil" drug companies who research cures to debilitating diseases for a profit.ECONOMY: as recently as December 2007 he admitted "he does not know the economy very well" and needed to get better at it.1ST AMENDMENT: he wrote the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that was declared to be an unconstitutional infringement of the 1st Amendment (co-sponsored by ultra-liberal Democrat Russ Feingold).2ND AMENDMENT: he was called the "worst 2nd amendment candidate" by the president of the NRA.ENERGY TAX: wrote a bill (co-sponsored by his buddy Lieberman) imposing a massive tax on energy which, according to the Department of Energy, would drastically raise the price of gasoline and put 300,000 Americans out of work.GLOBAL WARMING: supports radical global warming legislation which involved him voting with every Democrat; think only America is responsible to take action, not other superpowers.JUDGES: he joined forces with Democrats (Gang of 14) to block the Senate Republican's attempt to confirm conservative, strict constructionist judges; also said Alito was too conservative for his liking.WAR ON TERROR: fought with Hillary Clinton to demand that terrorists be given a full AMERICAN trial.