Building Bridges

This morning I had a hard time falling asleep – I should not have had that Starbucks latte after work. The caffeine has messed me up but it is my own fault. So, I got online and started surfing some photography sites. I call the photoblogs my eye candy. I love to see what photographers can do with an artistic eye and a good camera.

One of the photoblogs that I really like is made by a man in Pennsylvania, John Maslowski. He takes the most beautiful photographs of waterfalls. The water always looks soft and pristine, like humans have never been there to spoil it.

The most recent photo that he posted on his photoblog is of a bridge located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The photo is stunning in the composition and artistic perspective, but even more was the way it brought to mind the dozens of men who had to work so hard to bring the iron ore from the ground, forge it into massive beams, transport it to the site and actually construct the bridge. All this work and expense so that people would have the convenience of crossing a body of water.

Things like these bridges are what makes our country so great. We have the men who are willing and able to work hard, the men who are educated and smart enough to design massive structures, and a way to finance these massive projects to make them happen.

And, after all these deep thoughts, I guess I will turn off my laptop and try once again to get some sleep. Six o’clock will be coming early for me.


Have You Heard of the Mummers Parade?

Since I do not live on the East Coast, I do not get all the news that others might get. I have never heard of anything called a Mummer’s Parade, but it is a really big deal in Philadelphia every year. It has been going on since the 1800’s. So why have I never heard of it? This is like Philadelphia’s Mardi Gras – big floats, fabulous costumes, music, dancing – a huge all day street party. They even judge the entries and give out trophies to five different Divisions of parades entries:

  • Comic Division
  • Wench Brigades
  • Fancy Division
  • String Bands
  • Fancy Brigades

I’ve never even heard of the word mummer, so I looked it up. “A masked or costumed merrymaker.” So I guess all the Mardi Gras and Carnival parade people are technically mummers, too.

I don’t know that I will ever have a chance to be in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day, but if I do have the chance, I will go with the plan to see the Mummers, too. The Mardi Gras parade I saw was so much fun! I wish I had a fancy costume and could party with people at one of the carnival balls. That would be something to look forward to all year long!

FTD Florist Messed Up My Order

My mom’s birthday is today and since I can’t go to Florida to celebrate with her, I wanted to send her some flowers. I figured all her friends would see the flowers and be a little impressed and help make my mom feel special on her birthday – it’s a big one – one of the dreaded birthdays that ends with a zero.

So, I ordered an arrangement of flowers for her from the FTD web site. I found a discount coupon code on one of the coupon sites that said I could save 20% off anything on the site. When I went to the FTD site, there was a special message about free shipping this week, too. Actually its not shipping so much as a service charge and delivery fee.

So I picked out the arrangement of orange lilies that are her favorite flower and tried to use the coupon code to save the 20%. Well, when I used the code it made the free delivery offer disappear. I couldn’t find any way to get it back. So I canceled that order and tried to place a new order to save the service charge and it wouldn’t show that screen again. I think there was something put into my computer’s cookies that flagged the site to make the free shipping deal be excluded. That pissed me off, but they don’t give you any options to get help late at night.

So, I caved and ordered the lilies and charged it on my card with instructions to deliver the flowers today – her birthday. Well, the day went on and on and I never heard from my mom about having received the flowers. I figured she would call me as soon as they arrived. Finally, around 5:00 I called her to say Happy Birthday and she told me that a flower delivery had just arrived, minutes before I called. I forgot that it was an hour later in Florida because of the time zone change. I should have called earlier, because it turns out that the flowers they delivered were not lilies – they were red roses.

I am SO PISSED OFF. If the damn florist did not have lilies, they should have called and told me or given the order to a different florist. Of course, the fine print says that the florist has the right to substitute flowers, but the least they could have done was called and told me they didn’t have lilies. I NEVER wold have sent her roses – she HATES roses. She says roses remind her of death. Every funeral she has ever been to has had a casket spray of red roses sitting on top of the casket. That’s the LAST message you want to send a loved one on their birthday!!!!

I will NEVER use FTD again. I will call a florist in Florida myself and ask them on the phone what flowers they have and make sure they get my damn order right!

What to do in Vegas?

Just found out that I have a trip to Vegas coming up in September for a big business conference. I’m so excited! I have never been to Las Vegas and have always wanted to go. Now I am going and the company is paying for the whole trip!

So what do people do in Vegas besides gamble? What are the best shows to see while I’m there? I want to have a chance to do it all!

Justice in Italy

My friend, Micah, called me yesterday afternoon so excited to share the news that the court in Italy had freed those two poor young Americans from jail. It has been a horrible tragic story for over four years about how a beautiful English college girl had been raped and murdered in her rented home in a little college town in Italy. The other girl who shared the house came home after an evening with her boyfriend and discovered the body. Then the police went nuts accusing her and her boyfriend of having an orgy gone wrong and threw three kids in jail with almost no evidence and no clear motive. It was horrible and my heart aches for everyone involved.

At least now the girl can come home to America and try to start her lie over again. I hope she gets a huge book and movie deal to make some money and help make up for the four years she had to spend in that awful Italian jail. The whole story makes me not want to ever visit Italy – some place Micah and I’ve always wanted to visit – until now I see how the police treat people.

GPS Help

Sometimes I really appreciate having a GPS in the car. Most of the time I know where I need to go. But sometimes I get stuck in traffic and need to find an alternate route. If I’m in a part of town that I don’t know very well, the GPS really comes in handy helping me find a way around the traffic snarl or accident, without making a lot of wrong turns or heading down dead end streets.

Shine On

Going through the airport in St. Louis to head home. I passed a shoe shine stand and usually don’t even give it a glance. But today the the shoe shine guy is barking out, “Shine em up! You can’t be happy when your shoes look crappy!” LOL

Notes from on the Road

Rory and Joey on the road with Zac Brown.

In Oregon this morning, Having breakfast at Elmers. Tried something they call a ‘dutch boy’. It’s awesome!

Dutch Boy Recipe

Heat oven to 400*

In a blender process on stir:

4 eggs,

add in & process on mix:

1T sugar,
1/2 t salt,
2/3 cup flour,
2/3 cup milk,
2 T butter.

Put in 2 greased round cake pans. Bake 20 min at 400* then reduce heat to 350* for 5-10 min.

Butter liberally sprinkle powdered sugar and squeeze lemon on top! Serves 2

Mom’s taking a vacation

My mother and father used to travel quite a bit before he passed away and Mom just hasn’t had the desire to travel until now.  I’m so glad to see her taking a vacation without us.  She has always wanted to go to Cairo and she found City Discovery discount coupons to Cairo and invited her sister to go with her.  We all think it’s wonderful.

Of course she needed some new clothes for her trip so I found Esprit discount coupons for her to help her save money on her new wardrobe.  She’s as excited about this trip as we are for her.  Good for you Mom!!!