A Journal to impart knowledge and facts
July 22, 2015|
I'm going to start today to record on a daily basis whatever happens to strike my fancy. So, it is a very cool breezy day. I just posted 5 short book reviews to The Monthly Reading Challenge. I'm suppose to put away some winter wood today from the woodpile outside but I'm playing hookey from work to write so starting this blog will get done.
I'm having a daily fight with a flock of English Sparrows that are trying to take over my barn. They are making a terrible mess so they have to go. I have destroyed several nests so far they don't leave but they get out of the barn when I am around. I'm just starting the fight so I guess I don't know how far I have to go to discourage them.
I'm trying not to spread myself to thin on WDC because I find so many things that are interesting here and I am trying to work on a new story. I really enjoy sitting at my desk with a cup of tea and reading blogs on WDC.
|Write your entry as either the participant's perspective in the race or from one of the dog's perspective on the team. The most creative entry will win a merit badge for their endeavor. Have fun!
We’re all waiting. I can’t say we are patient. No, there are 15 mates in harness (besides me). Some are barking, some just wagging a tail or swinging around to look at some of the bystanders. People here are curious. They don’t seem to understand it is time to get underway.
The sledge is heavy today. We will be carrying about 350 lbs. Some of the sledges have a smaller extra sledge to carry the food. I can hardly wait to the end of the day. The food on the sledge smells delicious. I heard someone say we have to go 1000 miles total. I hope my boots will not wear out. Yes! I said boots.
We are wearing boots to protect out feet from sharp hard snow bumps and ice chunks. Cutting a foot will mean a dog out of the race. The pack talked it over no one wants to end up riding in the sledge instead of pulling it.
I can’t believe our owner is doing this run just to get a new truck and enough green paper to cover the dog food. My pack brothers and sisters can stand 22 to 26 inches tall and weight 71 to 95 lbs.
That bow wow mid way down the line is the heaviest. Even with a long run every day to harden to the trail, he still outweighs most of us. We call him chicken fat because it’s his favorite food of all. I like the salmon and kibble mix. It reves me up so I can run all day.
Ha. The sledge is anchored but, we gave a jerk and it almost came free. It would be fun if we can shake it loose so the Musher has to run to catch up. But, now she is walking the line cautioning each one of us to wait for the signal to start.
When I was a pup I had to learn to speak the language. Hah is left, Gee is right. Now, I’m bilingual. I speak sledge dog and human.
Yesterday, I was allowed to walk around the camp with our girl. People were talking about how this started in 1973 when some people needed medicine and the planes could not fly because of the weather. That made the team howl, when I told them, cause they know a team is worth more than a plane in bad weather.
Look how excited we all are. The leader knows something is about to happen. Ha! I felt it the anchor is loose we’re running. Yay!
"Howling down the line" = first day only 18 more to go to the end.
Anchorage to Fairbanks by railroad:
"Be like a train; go in the rain, go in the sun, go in the storm, go in the dark tunnels! Be like a train; concentrate on your road and go with no hesitation!" By /Mehmet Murat ildan http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/train-
This is a 45 minute film
Well, I've been away from the trip for too long. I'm not sure this train ride that I took to get back on track is what Travel Guide Lyn had in mind. Nevertheless, I saw a lot of scenery while I rode the train.
The ride featured is on the ARR Central and Mountain Division. The passenger who remains antonymous was riding the 130N and 130S freight from anchorage to Fairbanks. It passed through many towns and over bridges that crossed rivers. We saw Anderson, Nenana, went over the Kashwittna River bridge, and passed through Denali National Park. I was interested to see there was a lot of places to hold on as the train picked up speed.
I had a buffet meal brought into my suite for breakfast and everyone is invited, Pwheeler, prosperous snow globe, Ice_Dragoness Snow Dreaming, travel guide Lyn, Carly, Queen Kissy, Yes! and anyone else on the trip I don't know about. There is lots of food so drag in people out of the lobby if you want? The Marriott is always a nice place to stay. I used to stay there in Texas when we traveled to shows on the A Circuit.
I just can't keep on track but i KEEP TRYING to get back to the trip as often as I can.
Migrating to New Zealand by Judith D (Apondia)
As I walked to the barn, the wind at about 25 miles per hour was picking up snow, blowing it 20 feet into the air and pushing it along the ground 4 or 5 hundred feet, like a huge cloud, then dropping it as the gust lost it’s power.
Birds were huddling in at the base of limbs up against the main trunk of trees all fluffed out to keep warm.
In the barn rabbits had built nests in the hay which was piled against the ponies stall walls, to keep out drafts. Perfect circular holes going into one end of a pile of hay and out the other.
An old possum had wandered in leaving drag marks on the sandy floor with it’s tail. It was sheltering in the niche under the hay room. And birds were perching in the rafters of the walk trot after squeezing into the barn, under the cracks where the roof meets the edge of the outer walls. I called my son and left a message about feed and care for the resident creatures.
So, I migrated. in a plane. I rode the 8,814 miles on an 18 hour trip. That really isn’t too bad. I read somewhere that it takes 25 hours to New Zealand from some parts of Europe.
I rented a 2 bedroom ground floor flat with a patio. It was clean and neat until I dumped my luggage in the middle of the living area.
It was a small village. A lot of the buildings looked similar to the place I was staying. The architecture wasn’t much. Rectangular two story buildings, housing migrating people instead of birds. The rental faced the ocean, with mowed lawns and a path leading out across the property toward the sea. Two long docks stretched out into the water but, they were both empty. No people, no boats to be seen. A dark sandy path stretched along the water’s edge.
After a quick change into some appropriate hiking clothing I decided to see where the path along the water’s edge would take me. “Hi.”
I turned to my left and saw a tall, lanky blonde woman standing there. “Hi, to you too.”
“Where you going?”
“I just arrived, I was thinking I might just see where that path over there goes.”
“Can I walk along?”
Unsure exactly where this would lead I hesitated. “Umm.”
“My husband and I arrived yesterday. He has business and won’t be back for a the rest of the day. I just thought when I saw you moving your luggage in we might get to know each other. We’re in the flat above you. My name’s Mandy.”
“Do you hike Mandy? I’m Java.” I offered my hand. The one not holding the birding binoculars.”
“I like to go on long walks. Is that the same as hiking?”
“Today it will be pretty close to the same, cause I’m going to just explore the path, see where it goes, and take it slow.”
“Can I go with you.”
Well it’s unusual for me to make a new acquaintance so quickly in a new place but, it would not hurt to be cordial to the people who live above me, so I answered, “Sure.” And we started off across the lawn to connect with the path.
Mandy had long blonde hair tied back with a colorful bandana. If we met any rough going I would have to stay slow. She wore tan slacks a solid shoe and a long sleeve silk blouse. An outfit to suit an easy walk down a well worn path. And, yep That’s an umbrella under her arm.
At first we walked in silence along the water’s edge. The water was clear and blue. Mild ripples were washing toward the shore. The weather was 80 degrees but kind of balmy and did not seem to bother either of us as we walked along.
Soon the dark clear cut trail left the mowed area and entered an area that was over bearing with jungle foliage. The flowers, plants and trees rushed up on the path as if to over run the brown loamy walk way. Still, there was lots of the room on the trail and we could maintain a side by side walk. The water was on our right. But, now it was swampy with dark mounds of foliage sunk into the marshy waters edge. The marshy waters reached into the sea, about 25 feet. It made a good nesting area for local water birds. I kind of lost track of time as I halted to examine many of the plants along the edge of the trail.
“look at those trees.” Mandy was pointing at a group of trees growing along the right side of the path. “I saw a lot of those in different places when we were driving in from the airport yesterday.”Mandy was pointing at the ti KouKa (cabbage tree).
Standing on the ground and shading my eyes with my hand the 20 meter tall tree had long, narrow, spiked leaves at the top which were growing in clumps. “European settlers call them cabbage trees.” I know they like the swampy coastline, actually they grow everywhere in New Zealand. To me they are an herbal specimen because you can make beer from the roots. Parts of the tree can be used as food and medicine. “
As we walked along we noticed many different types of ferns. “I’ve seen pictures and art depicting the coiled spiral leaves of this fern.”
Mandy was quick with and explanation. “The Maori use the coiled shape in art. The shape is called ‘Koru.’ It is the way the young fern leaves are shaped before they open.
“Hmm. I read that one of these native ferns called ‘ra rahu’ has a root that can be dried and eaten.”
“The Ponga has a silver underside, the plant is used as a national symbol.”
“Mistletoe grows here as well. It has white, red, scarlet, and yellow varieties.”
We moved along the trail sharing knowledge about the foliage and other New Zealand oddities. Suddenly, the jungle let loose to another piece of well mowed lawn and a small trading store. “Hey, I wonder if they carry tea?”
“What a good idea. Let’s look.”
I purchased a couple packets of green tea in different flavors. “I’m startled to find this convenience so close to where I’m staying.”
“me too. I think I’ve gone far enough though let’s go back.”
An older gentleman standing by the door turned to introduce himself. I’m Tobias, where are you from.
“We just walked down the path from part of the village about two miles back.”
“I have a small boat. I am heading back down the edge of the water to a dock. Would you like to ride along?”
Mandy and I looked at each other and smiled. “Yes, absolutely.”
Another dock stretched into the sea at the edge of the mowed lawn area around the store. A canopied cruising boat that looked like it was used to haul tourists around was tied up to the dock.
We were back by our own docks and yard in no time. “would you like to come in and try my new tea Mandy? You too Tobias?
Of course it is a great pleasure to have a cup of tea in the afternoon. So, even before I had unpacked I put on a kettle found some teacups and we three sat around discussing flora and fauna.
Mandy and I learned that Tobias has a family and lives here permanently. He was also able to share lots of new ideas about the plants we found.
For instance there are 200 species of ferns on the Islands but, 40 percent of them are only found in New Zealand. Because, New Zealand is an isolated paradise 80 percent of the plants here are only found in New Zealand.
After Tobias left with a promise to have us over for a barbecue, Mandy and I agreed, that it was a successful afternoon and we would be doing some more hiking another day learning more about New Zealand's special plants and animals.
|We're having dinner at Boldrum's Kitchen, supposed to have a great selection of food choices. Hope your appetite is back. Jet lag is murder. I've been told they have “Coffee Kick Starter , that works for me.
“Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity.” https://www.backpackerguide.nz/22-inspirational-travel-quotes/
Guess what? My dog is feeling a little cabin fever because of the weather. He spends his time squeaking toys and barking at the wind and any other noise that strikes his fancy. The windows are covered with ice so I cant even see outside to watch the birds in the feeder.
I guess Auckland is a great place to be today, February 12, 2019. I became curious about how it would be to live there so this is what I found.
Pros and Cons:
Two people can live there for about $2900 per month. Sixty per cent of that would be for housing. Twenty-five percent would be for food. The rest would be for utilities, transportation, and entertainment.
Pro: Natural Beauty Con: expensive
Pro: A very clean society not trash etc. laying around Con: Far from anywhere--flying in and out expect a long flight.
Pro: Low Population compared to other countries Con: shipping anything from other countries is very expensive
Pro: Sand Flys can make you itchy for weeks after they bite you. Con: few or no poisonous creatures to bite you
Pro: Low crime, safe country Con: no public transport to outlying areas (need a car)
Pro: people are laid back, friendly, social, welcoming, tolerant Con: people are laid back: difficult to get any thing taken care of quickly in the realm of business
Pro:temperate weather Con: lack of central heating except in newer built houses
The last is a breaker as far as I'm concerned. Earthquakes that you can feel are about 250 per year. More than that quakes are registered but may not be ones you can feel.
After interviewing some staff at the hotel for information about the city I persuaded Shy One to go out with me on a jaunt to see the Viaduct Harbor. It is a really scenic place to just look at all the boats and water. I am interested to meet other people strolling along the streets and many are willing to just stop and talk. Plus, there are a lot of really good eateries there. We stopped for some fish at one.
You can get hot cards for train transportation but if you really want to see the sights many people recommend renting a car. You can then have the freedom to choose where you want to go in the city because buses won't let you off in the proper places. Further out of the city housing is a little cheaper.
We met up with Social Scribes, Prosperous Snow Globe, PWheeler and headed to Baldrums to meet Ellie, Caitlin, Lyn and Fivesixer. As always the food was great, with lots of choices.
We all agreed renting a small bus might be the way to go or just getting train cards for the out lying areas? We will see what kind of sightseeing we want to do?
Lolling around the hotel tonight or catch a concert at the Aukland Symphony Orchestra.
Or check out the punji music in a downtown hotspot. Maybe they will be singing "jail".
K kind of flipped when I ordered a movie from Netflix for our afternoon entertainment. I have never seen "Frozen".
|We're going to travel together today, then change up and regroup before we head over to Richard's Bake and Shark, the views of the beach I hear are amazing and it's good local cuisine.
Onward we go. The Republic of Tinidad & Tobago Botanical Gardens are just the place to explore. While we were wandering across a park like area we stopped to talk with a family from Trinidad. They were interested to meet PWheeler who also has friends from Jamaica.
They explained to me that the official language of Trinidad is not just English but officially it is the Queen's English (British). They also were able to tell me that the bird we saw flitting around in the trees was a Blue Gray Tanager. Apparently, the Tanager is a well populated species in the area.
There are 482 species of birds living in Trinidad & Tobago. The National Bird is a Scarlet Ibis, which is called a flamingo by some but has a different length of bill than the flamingo we are familiar with in Florida.
I was taken by the bird population and dragged the tour into the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. That noisy amazon parrot that was in the trees around the Prospect Plantation, the Botanical Gardens, and now here is an Orange Winged Amazon. In pet shops back home they are considered a good pet. It has yellow wings, the color of which can be seen best as it flys over head. It also has yellow on its cheeks and crown with a large patch of blue above it's eyes.
We could not stay to long at the bird sanctuary which is a piece of wild jungle because we were due to walk through the zoo. Many of the exhibits were built with cooling canopies and cool cement with water not spared for the creatures in the exhibit. Carly and I exclaimed over the size of the white tiger. Isn't there some mystery surrounding white tigers?
As we continued to Fort George. It was a good thing to sit still and ride into the city. The height of Fort George offered a different view of the city and the sea.
While stopping in the shopping streets of the city Prosperous Snow Globe pointed out a teapot of the size I've been looking for so, I purchased it. The shop kindly mailed it to my address in the States.
Personally, I think we were all very glad to reach the buffet at Richard's Bake and Shark. Travel Guide Lyn, Queen Kissy, and the Snow Dragon came out carrying trays of luscious looking food. When I reached the Buffet I was happy to find lots of veggies to go with the fish. An amazing eating banquet. To bad we can't pack the restaurant up and take it home with us.
I kept the rhythm music with us all day to keep up my sight seeing energy. Trinidad and Tobago are considered the birthplace of Calypso and steel drum music.
|We've left Montego Bay and headed to Ocho Rios. We're doing the Black River Safari, it's twelve and a half hours. Hope you're ready for an adventure.
We'll be staying at Prospect Plantation after our safari..
Jamaica never gets worse or better, it just finds new ways to stay the same.
Marlon James http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/jamaica-quotes/
Well this is a nice surprise when I caught up with the group. A scenic tour of Jamaica spots.
There is such a contrast between my home and Jamaica. We have dark, leaf less forests shrouded in gray skies with occasional sunshine. Jamaica is blue skies, blue waters, water falls, gorgeous scenery, and sandy beaches.
To my surprise Rum is made from sugar cane. The main crop around the Rum factory is sugar cane. My parrot loves sugar cane but, it is not easy to get in the pet shops.
The trip was full of sunshine, seafood, and fresh fruits. The Black River tour was about 4and1/2 miles upriver and back. The boat spent some time sailing along with flying white water off the bow. We also stopped along the way to get a good look at wildlife and plants. The hyacinth water groves were in full bloom so we were able to pick and bring back blossoms.
There are red and white mangrove trees along the river. The bark from the Mangrove tree is stripped and made into dye for cloth. We boated passed the Rum factory situated on the river.
Snowy egrets nest in the trees along the banks of the river. When they come down to the river to drink they are in danger of Crocodiles which like to eat them. At one point the tour boat stopped in a small pool on the bank while the guide played with a crocodile that was coaxed to come close to the boat.
I loved the scenery at the Prospect Plantation. There is a special feeling you get from well cultivated lawns and swimming pools surrounded by jungle. The birds flitting about in trees were a special treat.
Jamaica is a special place. It is a mixture of rich tourist attractions and smaller poorer people who live there permanently. Lots of color, and musi
Happy Day to you all.I'm going to a party hosted by PWheeler after while to meet her Jamaican friends. I better get ready.
|Yup, we're going to meet the famous Norb. It's only going to cost 750 gps for your phenomenal experience.
“If you have carefully examined hundred people you met in your life journey, it means that you have read hundred different books! Every person you know is a book; world is full of walking books; some are boring, some are marvelous, some are weak, some are powerful, but they are all useful because they all carry different experiences of different paths!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/meeting-people
If you are charging to meet fivesixer doesn't that put him out there somewhere in famous land? Anyway I think I met him once on one of his blogs he was playing a guitar. A Question: What is the name of the book you published? I hope everyone is meeting back at the pizza place so we can drill Fivesixer about the in's and out's of finally publishing a book. Maybe he should read us a few paragraphs while were eating? It will give him practice for book signing times.
Central New York is interesting. The landscape is similar to Pa. and Ohio. It would be a miserable day to walk trails even though they look peaceful and inviting. February rain is the pits, it's cold and very wet. I can see that the Lima Hollow Nature Center trails would be a great place to take long walk, enjoy the bird song, and quiet of nature.
On the plus side, the stained glass and interior of the Victorian house was priceless and beautiful. In this weather and because of our recent dive into the minus temperatures, I wondered if this house has the insulation upgraded or if there would be drafts in cold weather to deal with. I liked the grandfather clock and the alcove with a fireplace. It would be a great place to read.
What a great History Center. I like that name better than museum. Historical objects were presented with organization. I saw folding bicycles, tractors, war memorabilia, and did you see the vintage ambulance? So cool. It's one of the things they let women do in wars, drive the ambulance. I learned to type on an old Underwood. Think of a room full of girls (at least 20) all typing time tests at the same time. The serious clackety clack of keys driving metal letters onto ink ribbon, onto paper to print out each word as fast as they can. Builds strong fingering. Helps when you learn to play guitar or piano too. There was the front end of a steam engine from the Lackawanna railroad.Titusville, Pa. has a steam engine ride to show the oil country in Northwestern Pa. I rode it once. It was a lot of fun. Very wild country to see wildlife and old oil country scenery. Amish buggies are still in style around here.
I also liked the Country Music Park and an Opry Barn. I'm not the greatest fan of country Music but, live shows are nice and they call some square dances. I wonder if I can still square dance. It was one of the things they taught for gym class when I was a teen. Mixed it with some rock and roll which was hitting the scene then.
Weather or not this was a quiet fun place to visit. I like the silence you find when you visit places like this.
Congratulations Fivesixer on your book. Write ON!
NYC: A place that has every every kind of interest you could think of:
I can depend on Lyn when she is the travel guide to put us into some really swank accommodations. In our many August trips we have really seen a lot of the way the world eats, sleeps and entertains the public. Today's trip to NYC is a good example of our camping trips.
Erie, Pennsylvania, USA purchased and displays a memorial of 9/11 in the form of a beam from the World Trade Center.
I once heard a speech about why remembrance of the holocaust of WWII is kept alive. The relevance is the same, when there is an opportunity to view the 9/11 Museum. It keeps alive the truth about what occurred on that fateful day. The memory is not only for those who suffered such a serious loss of loved humans, but it is also for those people who were not born yet. It is a reminder that we want to stop such horrific concurrences on the earth for all humanity. So, someday it will be only a remembrance and by that remembrance it will be prevented from happening again.
I took the tour. If you start in the basement you see a wall that is original to the building. There is a hugh special wall that is covered with every color of blue in the sky, painted onto small tiles. One tile for each soul lost in the rubble.
There is an activity place where families and organizations came at first with pictures and lighted candles in memory of lost loved ones.
Another saved example is a part of the huge antenna that used to stand on the top of one of the buildings. It looks similar to a piece of a space craft with all the panels and wiring intact. I could not help thinking about the types of technological things that stopped running when that antenna stopped working. I find new uses for my smart phone every day and other electronics every day. But, are we prepared for a time when terrorism may use our tech against us.
Another exhibit shows the destruction of firetruck #3. There is a rural fire department in our Township. The trucks are massive with such equipment stored in each truck for all kinds of disaster. It is astonishing to note how much power it would take to smash and burn such a truck. Yet, truck #3 is beyond repair and a statement of the devastation experienced by it's crew.
The historical exhibit is the best and the worst. It is set up in alcoves of experience. People can move in and out of them. They have some privacy for viewing and remembrance and easy exit so if you can't take the pain of viewing the real tradgety you can quickly leave.
The total exhibiting of 9/11 is presented with fountains, beauty, and grief. It is not something you will want to do often but, certainly has a teaching symbolism.
I skipped the helicopter ride and did some hop on hop off shopping. I visited the New York City Library, Stephen A. Swartzman building where visual art photography By Anna Atkins was on display.
The night was finished off with the music of Eaglemania. Eaglemania is dedicated to preforming all the music of the Eagles and of the members of the original Eagles group.
The Eagles started with 4 members and graduated in 1974 to 7 members. We heard such songs as Witchy Woman, Take It Easy, and Peaceful Easy Feeling.
This was especially a great way to wind up the evening. Who doesn't love the Eagles. WE all wound up at the hotel where we discussed the day and wound down with a hot cup of tea before calling it a night. At least I drank tea.
Super Bowl, Hats, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium
That's the biggest gap in sports, the difference between the winner and the loser of the Super Bowl. by John Madden
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/super_bowl
I don't know a lot about football. I can tell a soccer ball from a pigskin. When I started looking for facts I found some interesting stories.
When the first Super Bowl was being organized between the NFL and AFL it was a real competitive angle. The first tickets were considered expensive. They cost about $12.00. Now tickets cost from $2500 to $3000. I'm not sure, is that progress? The first game was not sold out because of the high price of the tickets. Now, the stadium is sold out for every Super Bowl. Is that progress or just advertising genius?
AFL used a slightly different size ball. It was longer, narrower, and had a rougher surface than the ball used by the NFL. The supplier for the AfL ball was Spalding; for the other team it was Wilson. In order to keep the peace, each team used their own ball when the team was on the offense.
If I'm getting the facts wrong it's because I probably did not understand them when I read about them. I do like to watch a good game once in awhile. But, if they are just running back and forth across the field without scoring or if only one team is scoring I get bored.
The Mercedes-Benz stadium is going to be packed with people. I would not go there even if someone paid my way. The stadium opened on August 26,2017. I won't bore you with all the statistics I read about this building. One of It's redeeming qualities is the fact that there is so much WIFI and TV tech that every fan can stay connected during the entire event. So if you are suppose to phone home you will have no excuse.
The only other redeeming quality about the games is the caps and hats the players wear on and off the field. I have said before and still maintain that you can tell who the winners are going to be by the styling of their headgear. It takes a brave go-getter to wear a brightly colored hat with bright emblems and drawings out on the field. Like taking your mascot into battle with you. So, which hats are going to win?
maybe Bush Gardens
Busch Gardens, February 2, 2019 presents to you Herman"s Hermits.
I'm going to be stuck at Busch Gardens all spring. Herman's Hermits exists from 1964 to the present. They have 24 Gold Hits and sold 52 million records.
Eagle-mania will be preforming at Busch Gardensfrom February 25 to March 2.
The 5th dimension will be there February 18-23.
Cirque Vertigo opens at Busch Gardens March 11-16 and of course Jack Hanna will be presenting wild animal shows there May 18-19.
What a great way to forget how cold it is in Pa.
The Busch Gardens started in 1906. It was a garden on the estate of Adolphus Busch co-founder of the Brewery. In 1978 The world's tallest roller coaster called The Loch Ness Monster was opened. The park evolved to today's entertainment and amusement run by Sea World Entertainment. There are two parks. One is in Tampa, Florida. One is in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Lots of music here today. Lilli and I are tapping out the rhythms. Sing On!