On the Road with Larry

Meet Larry.

Larry

My wife trusts Larry, so he’s is a frequent road-trip companion. Even though he led her down a farmer’s road to a fence protecting a cornfield, then declaring, “You have arrived at your destination” … she trusts Larry.

I know Larry has also successfully guided us to other destinations, but I’m leary of Larry. After all, a few years ago on a trip to Maker’s Mark Distillery, Larry led me down narrowing roads with rough pavement before his arrival proclamation – which was actually a farm-house on a gravel road with no distillery in sight. Fortunately, a resident didn’t come out of the house with a shotgun as I was turning around. Somehow, my gyroscope led me to Maker’s Mark without asking for directions.

Marker's Mark Distillary - Loretto, Kentucky

Marker’s Mark Distillery – Loretto, Kentucky

Because we moved earlier in 2014, we decided to take an 8-day road-trip vacation that fall. Larry was along, and he successfully guided us to our first stop (the Frank Lloyd Wright house known as Kentuck Knob in Pennsylvania), even though I only semi-trusted his judgment.

Kentuck Knob

Kentuck Knob

Upon Kentuck Knob, I knew all I had to do was turn left, travel 3-4 miles, and then turn left onto US Route 40 as we were bound for Cumberland, Maryland.

Oh no – Larry said (in his Aussie English), “Turn right.”

I cringed, but because my wife trusts Larry, I reluctantly turn right. Of course, Larry’s direction got a song going in my head – Over the hill and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go. We got to our destination, but hey Larry – WHY? All I had to do was turn left! Surely it wasn’t shorter or saved time.

Larry had successes on this trip that involved Gettysburg, Cooperstown, the Finger Lakes region, Corning, Falling Waters, and home … but he never regained my full trust. On our next-to-the-last day, he took me on another unexpected journey of zigs and zags. We did it, but I wouldn’t have taken that route.

Knowing we were returning to the Kentuck Knob area because Falling Waters is nearby, I figured Larry would again set us on the way to Grandma’s house – so I to prepare my counter to his wishes by checking multiple sources before leaving the hotel. Sure enough, he directed, “Turn right” – so, I sent him into recalculating mode by going straight.

FallingWaters

FallingWaters – Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece

He quickly came around, thus got on the same page as I – and we safely arrived – and yes, Falling Waters is spectacular.

We were now ready to leave for home. Larry and I agreed on the initial part of the journey, but I was confident that he would take us in a direction that I didn’t want to go. Once we got to that point, Larry proclaimed, “Turn left.” … but I countered with an unexpected right.

He quickly recalculated to countered with new directions with a left on the next road.

I pressed on – ignoring his wish – and he recalculated again, then asking me to turn left in order to return to his wishes. Again, I continued straight.

Larry is relentless as he recalculates again, then asking me to turn left again – but I’m in full resistance mode. The previous pattern continued a few more time as the battle of wills was at its peak.

I pressed on with my plan, and eventually yes – the battle was now over. Victory for me – thus Larry succumbed to my easier road by telling me to continue on the road for 30 miles – we were now on the same page …. and my way took us 5 minutes more, but without tolls.

Take that Larry …. and meet your new traveling companion!

LarryPal

On a Bag Sale

Occasionally, stores have a bag sale. A sale where the store gives a bag to each customer, then give a designated percentage off the price of everything fits in the bag. Not a bag as the above, but a large paper bag – one slightly larger than a large brown paper bag from a grocery store.

Besides the discounted percentage in large letters, phrases as “Even sale priced items” qualify” get the buyer’s attention. Although “No early discounts” apply because of the designated dates involved, nothing like a sale when lawyers get involved. After all, the fine print list is probably what has been tried by customers at past sales.

According to the fine print, In order to qualify for the discount,

  • All merchandise must fit inside the bag
  • All merchandise must fit inside the bag all at one time
  • No modifications to the bag
  • Products up to twice the height of the bag qualify as long as it fits inside the bag
  • If purchasing multiples of one item, all must fit inside the bag
  • No stacking beyond the height of the bag
  • All items inside the bag must remain in original packaging
  • Merchandise cannot be disassembled to fit in the bag
  • Not valid on Gift Cards, special orders, picking lists/invoices, rental agreements, self-service items, or the floozies in the backroom
  • No rainchecks
  • No price adjustments from previous sales
  • One bag per guest
  • In the spirit of the sale, please do not ask the cashier to split your purchase up across multiple bags held by family members.

Any morals to this story?

On a Holiday Reprise as Shorts

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day. Ours was simple as we hosted one (my father-in-law). After dinner, we played 3-handed euchre for multiple hours. The next day we took a 3-hour drive to visit an aunt, then returned the next day.

For part of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I took time to visit many bloggers, which I greatly enjoyed.

For the rest of this week, I hope to put together a few Explore posts to for light enjoyment

A reminder, Tuesday is the Kennedy Center Honors telecast.

Did all your packages arrive on-time? My wife and I were keeping it very simple this year. I ordered a small gift. (Good luck following this one)

  1. Records showed delivery, but I didn’t have a package.
  2. Knowing the odds of finding it before Christmas Day was slim, I ordered something else and paid more for two-day delivery (which would have been the 24th).
  3. Later the same day, we located the original package at the front door down the street (obviously the wrong address) – and the resident didn’t know it was there because she was out-of-town visiting family.
  4. Meanwhile, the second package has been sitting in Orlando (Florida) for more time than it was supposed to take to get here.

Thank you for the many kind comments regarding my Christmas post linking the goodness of people, Santa Claus, and the spirit of Christmas. To coincide with that post, LB (@Cruise Stories) shared this interesting post for the season, in which Rachel (a Jewish woman) tells about her love of Christmas movies.

On the same theme, the executive director of the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier University had a wonderful column in the local paper, which paralleled my Christmas message. Here’s his closing statement, plus the link to the entire column.

During this Christmas season, as we assemble with family and friends, let us pledge to make every encounter life-giving, to commit that all of God’s creations have a place not only in this world but in our heart. If we can be “for other people” we will never be “different to other people.. Nor they to us. Merry Christmas from a rabbi. (Rabbi Abie Ingber)

Calvin (@Beyond Plum Creek) shared this message through a song, which isn’t a Christmas song, but it sure fits my theme of Christmas is for everyone and that Santa is the Spirit of Christmas. Have a good final week of 2015.

On Holiday-Week Shorts

This post is a cheap imitation of Opinion in the Shorts … make that very cheap … but it’s a way to dispense some information.

With this being Christmas week, I realize upcoming posts will be around a different schedule – so here’s my hopeful plan for the rest of 2015

  • The next post will be my Christmas post (on either Wednesday or Thursday)
  • Several Explore posts between Christmas and the New Year (a light and easy agenda)

Many thanks to everyone attending my holiday party. It seems my new (non-Onion) gift supplier was a success … thus the challenge for next year. Nonetheless, thanks for all the smiles you gave me.

We enjoy watching the Kennedy Center Honors during the holidays. This year’s show is December 29th on CBS, so check your local listings. This year’s honoree are singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.

We finally saw the latest James Bond movie – Spectre. Typical Bond, thus enjoyable. During the holiday we hope to see The Big Short, Concussion, and maybe the latest Star Wars.

I enjoy making limoncello – a wonderful Italian drink that is sweet, lemony, and strong. It’s easy to make, and this past-post tells how. This year I’m in the process of making a variation – gingercello – sweet, gingery, strong, and a touch of heat – an interesting combination. I hope to bottle it soon, thus give away some to friends.

This remains a holiday classic in my warped world.

The Democratic candidates had a presidential debate this past Saturday. Yep – I didn’t watch – but I’ve put together a collection of fact checks: Annenberg, PolitiFacts, Associated Press, Washington Post.

As soon as I heard Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) comment about the recruitment videos, I shook my head – and it seems that the fact checkers are backing up my apprehension.

Because The Mummies were above with Carol of the Belts, I’ll send you into the week with one of their songs. Have a good week.

On a Reprise MME-Style

No – Monday Morning Entertainment (MME) isn’t returning – but given the holiday week for us in the US, mimicking an MME post is an idea.

How was your weekend? What did you do?

Crazy busy for me. Sure we had time for an evening of ballroom dance and an evening with the church wine tasting group … but I spent Friday afternoon, Saturday morning & afternoon, and Sunday afternoon with a paint brush and roller. YUK! Given that much time, we made progress – but now I’m way behind replying to comments. :(

With my wife still in the handbell choir, I heard their pre-service rehearsal and both the services – thus enjoyed a beautiful piece that they played well.  For those who enjoy handbell music, here’s a recording of the song.

Thursday is Thanksgiving for us in the US. It’s a good holiday marked by a grand meal and time with family. Turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals, but whether people say “dressing” or “stuffing” is regional. See this map.

Friday is a major shopping day, and some stores are even opening Thursday night – but I will avoid shopping areas as much as possible. When growing up way back in the day, I used to proclaim the holiday season didn’t start until I saw the commercial with Santa riding the Norelco sleigh. What the heck – with a few radio stations adopting an all-Christmas music format a month ago, why not show one of those commercials.

The holiday also means a different posting schedule this week. For me, I’m unsure about what lies ahead this week, so I remain non-committal for the days ahead. Surely I will have something, but I don’t know when.

It’s a crazy world these days, but I think of many of the good things for which I’m thankful. After all, there is always something for which to be thankful. A good disposition, good health, a loving wife, good family, good friends, and many fond memories. I’m thankful for what we take for granted – food, water, a comfortable home, modern conveniences, community services, and more.

As my volunteer opportunities continue to place me in the presence of many good people, WordPress provides countless positive interactions with members of the interactive global community. My blogging community touches my heart – and to think I receive bountiful sincere and positive vibes from all the continents is something I never envisioned. All of you help me keep my faith in humankind. May the blessings of Thanksgiving touch all hearts everywhere.

To send you into the week, enjoy this compilation of vintage dancing movie clips from movies brilliantly put together. Have a great week.