Tattoos Get Under Your Skin

Griffin 1

I just had some inspiration installed!  Pat, can I buy an idea??

In my Tattoos And Piercings post, I claimed that I’d often thought of getting a tattoo, but didn’t have enough imagination to decide what to get inked on.  When the wife heard me say that, she reminded me that I had two griffons scrimshawed onto the first handmade knife I ever bought, one with eagle’s wings, and one with dragonfly wings.  Why not a griffon tattoo?

EUREKA!

Kyle's Scrimshaw

Gryphon 2

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I was egged on aided and abetted by two people whose names shall forever remain H E Ellis and BrainRants.  They’re a couple of the nicest bloggers on the interwebz to ever have a head-on collision with an inkjet printer.  “C’mon sissy, get a tat.  We’ve all been inked.  Even the cat has a tattoo.

T's Tat

The daughter designed, and had applied, a tattoo which reflects some of her non-Christian spiritual beliefs.  The ink artist who did hers has moved from the city, (a lot of that goes on among the tattoo crowd) but she assures me that she knows of a couple more who are reliable (they don’t smoke crack while they’re applying your ink).

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Having had my great epiphany, I quickly went to Bing images for griffon choices.  I really like the blond example at the top.  I feel it best exemplifies my inner persona and spirit, intelligent, pensive, strong, introspective, and peaceful – until someone pisses me off.  There are two possible problems with it.

First, colored tattoos can fade over time, although, at my age, I’ll probably fade before it does.  Second, it is complex, and would require several sessions to complete, making it more expensive.  I’ll have to have the daughter introduce me to her dealer ink artist for an estimate, to see if it would be too expensive.  In that case, I also picked out two simple black outlines – above and below.

Griffin 2

Now I’m torn!  Do I just pull up my big-boy YSL bikini briefs, go have it put on, and surprise my future hosts when both the new tat….and I, arrive swollen and weeping?  Or do I wait, and give them the opportunity to influence my final decision?

How about my readers??!  Do you want to indulge in an online opinion poll?

Colored, or black?
Which black one?
Do it now, or let the voices of experience guide me later?

Come on!  This is easier than voting for/against Donald Trump (Kathleen Wynne, in Ontario.)    😯   I’d like to hear from you.

Complete And Correct

Calipers

Used properly, the English language is one of nuance and precision.  Used as many of the great unwashed do….it’s a wonder that even the pizza order is correct.

I have quoted Mark Twain’s admonition that “There’s a mighty difference between lightning, and a lightning bug.”

I recently stumbled across a blog post about euphemisms;

Euphemisms are generally used to change something icky into something more palatable. As George Carlin said, “Sometime in my life—no one asked me about this—toilet paper became bathroom tissue. The dump became the landfill. And partly cloudy became partly sunny.”

I heard Carlin’s debut album, shortly after it came out.  It was funny.  His later work – not so much.  It’s difficult to be funny for 40 years.  He began to make fun of the English language.  I didn’t find it terribly funny, because it was neither complete nor correct.

None of the above are euphemisms.  Early toilet paper was paper….like pages from a Sears catalog.  It beat using a corn cob. Soon, it was transformed into soft, absorbent tissue, used all through the bathroom, for applying skin cream, removing makeup, blotting lipstick, (a single square is faster and cheaper than an entire Kleenex) blowing your nose, or as emergency feminine hygiene material.  It is no longer paper, used only on the toilet.

We used to just dump and abandon garbage – hence, DUMP.  Nowadays, waste is shredded, some is incinerated, compost starter and soil is added and mixed, and the lot is bulldozed and landscaped into a re-usable landfill.

Media weather language is precise.  There are seven words to describe skies – from overcast, to cloudy, to partly sunny, to scattered (clouds), to partly cloudy, to sunny, to clear.  Partly sunny is 10% open sky.  Partly cloudy is 10% cloud.  They are not even vaguely the same.  One did not turn into the other, no matter what George falsely claims.

George lost me as a customer when he claimed that there were 3 words – flammable, inflammable, and non-flammable.  “Why 3??  Either it flams, or it doesn’t flam.”  Just a minute George, flammable means that something will burn.  Inflammable means that it will immediately, vigorously burst into flame.  A block of wood is flammable.  An open pail of gasoline is inflammable, so, there are 4 words, flammable – non-flammable, inflammable – non-inflammable.  If you’re going to bitch about something, even for comedy, it really helps your credibility if you know what you’re talking about.

I was in a medical center the other day, where an information station was set up under an umbrella. Emblazoned on the umbrella were the words SERVICE AMBASSADOR. I find nothing distasteful about the word INFORMATION, but I am entertained by the thought of a group meeting to find a supposedly better (and definitely more pompous) description of the services offered under that umbrella. SERVICE AMBASSADOR: Do you suppose the, ahem, ambassadors who staff that desk need congressional confirmation?

Like ‘toilet paper’, above, ‘Information desks’ have developed to provide far more services than mere information.  Every English-speaking country in the world has Ambassadors.  I can only hope that it was a vain attempt at humor, and not narrow-minded American provincialism that she felt any of them require U S Congressional confirmation.

Loblaw’s food chain came forward, and admitted to price-fixing on bread.  A letter to a newspaper complained that their fraud conviction was ironic.  1 – By voluntarily admitting wrong-doing, they received immunity from prosecution – so, no conviction.  2 – The bread was exactly as advertised, just too expensive.  What they did, was price-fixing, not fraud.  3 – What is ironic, is that the guy who complained, hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about.

Come on people, Stop, Think, Understand!  English is a beautiful, accurate, expressive language.  Please learn to use it correctly.  That’s what I ask for.  What I’ll probably get….is that guy’s Hawaiian pizza.  😯

Attack

Arrow

I was recently assaulted. It’s my own inattentive fault.  I was blithely, blindly blundering around the blogosphere, trying to catch up on my reading and commenting, when I discovered that Cordelia’s Mom had used a trebuchet to launch another Versatile Blogger award over Niagara Falls at me.

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I am always happy for any attention that doesn’t involve blue uniforms and arrest or search warrants. I hate to have to keep wiping my hard drive.  I sincerely thank CM for getting this award to me before Trump gets elected and puts up that big wall between us.

As usual, there’s a whole buncha rules.

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

As usual, G.O.D.’s (Grumpy Old Dude) rules supersede any silly WordPress rules, so I’m just gonna do whatever I want – but you already knew that, din’t ya??

I thanked CM for this honor, because, as a rule, I’m commonly courteous, even when I’m ignoring the rules. Secondly, I linked to CM’s beauteous blogsite (Quick, check above. I did link didn’t I? I didn’t have an[other] Alzheimer’s moment, did I?) because I’m not commonly courteous; I’m outstandingly courteous.

Next comes the sh….stuff I plan to ignore, nominations.

For various reasons, some bloggers don’t want to be bothered with blog awards, so for them, I won’t nominate them. For the other bloggers who get a kick out of a bit of recognition, there are still many to spread the joy. My not nominating anyone only means that the Universe will die the entropy death one second later.

Now comes the hardest part. Rule #5 says I have to tell the person who nominated me (i.e. Cordelia’s Mom), seven things about myself. That actually means to tell any readers. Between reading each other’s posts, comments and replies, emails, and even a couple of personal meet-and-greets, CM knows pretty much everything about me except the first name of my parole officer – (Herbert, BTW).  I’ll try.

  1. Recent insight has revealed that my lifelong lonership, my lack of friends, may stem from my thundering need for freedom and independence. That may have something to do with my Scottish ancestry. If you can show me a different, better way, I may adopt it, but I will not blindly, unquestioningly, believe and follow, whether religion, politics, sports, automakers or Kardashians, simply to ‘fit in.’ After almost 50 years of marriage, the wife still occasionally says something like, “I’ve tried to change him, but he’s just stubborn.”
  2. I do odd things with containers. Small bottles, like medicines or spice jars, I open with one hand – the left. I hold them against my palm with the third and fourth fingers, and either flip lids, or wind off screw-tops with my thumb and forefinger. I can usually put the lids back on that way too. Could I be on America’s Got Talent?
  3. Larger containers I often open by holding the top with my left hand, and turning the jar/bottle underneath it on a counter with my right. I (almost) never have a lid go flying away, to land on the cat hair floor. Can I now expect a home visit from a traveling psychologist?
  4. I couldn’t juggle if you held a gun to my head but, when moving an object from one hand to the other, I often throw/toss it – left to right, right to left – it’s only a foot or so. Exceptions include sharp knives, open drink containers, and cats. S6300243
  5. I’m not quite OCD about it, but I often count things. There are 14 steps in each stair flight in the house. When going downstairs with an armload of groceries, I’m never surprised to find that there’s another step, or almost as bad, I go to step down one more time, and there isn’t. When watering a cat from a faucet, I don’t look at a clock, I count the ticks. 60 clicks? – He’s done!
  6. Despite my singularity-ness, I truly, honestly care about people, especially the little people, the underdogs. Sadly, my physical and fiscal limitations often restrict what I can do to help others. The only folks I hate are liars, bullies and assholes. They cut into my charity work by about 90%!
  7. CM was the first fellow-blogger I had a real, live meet-and-greet with, even as I was on my way to rescue yet another blogger, lost in the wilds of Ohio, as Paul Curran recently was in Ottawa. We repeated the feat, each with a change of partners. I note that she’s hatching plots to get even more bloggers together. I hope she’s still keeping me in mind (probably ‘way back at the back).

No nominations – no list of worthy bloggers??! I’m done here.  Insert thunderous applause!

SWEEEET!

American money

To help finance our recent trip to visit Cordelia’s Mom, in Buffalo, I did a little unintentional crowd-sourcing. Son Shimoniac and I are almost impossible to buy presents for. I don’t even wear ties, so gaily-wrapped tee-shirts, socks or underwear often show up.

Grandson WillowThorn had been desperately searching for suitable presents for both Shimoniac and I. Our birthdays both occurred just before this trip. He had finally found something suitable for me, which he will now delightedly hold until Christmas. When he heard about our trip, he went to a bank and presented each of us with $50 US cash. That’s the joy of a gift of money. It’s always the right size. Let’s have a nice round of applause for one of the nicest grandsons/nephews in the world.

The son worked a midnight shift till 7 AM, Saturday morning, came home, showered, changed, had breakfast/midnight snack, and helped me load the car after I’d had *?*? hours of sleep. He normally goes to bed about noon, but sometimes gets excited by the weekend before him and stays up till 3 or 4. With the trip ahead, he was so high on adrenalin, I could have towed him to Buffalo like a kite.

I had decided to cross the border from Queenston to Lewiston, partly to save a bit of extra driving, but mostly to keep Ethel, the snotty GPS, quiet. Fifty miles of the drive were along a highway named for the Queen, The Queen Elizabeth Way – The QEW, which Ethel rendered to ‘The Q EWest’. I’m lucky she didn’t call it ‘The QEast/West’. Before we left, the son entered the address of the motel out in Batavia that we would stay at. Ethel didn’t get snotty till I decided to pull off I-90, to get to the restaurant. We forgot to tell her we were stopping for lunch.

Cordelia had already wisely backed out, but CM has two other quite intelligent daughters, both also smart enough not to want to have anything to do with mom’s two rotund Canuckleheads.

CM had to go down to the basement, where she managed to slip off the electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, unchain Mr. CM, and drag him along. He must have majored in Performing Arts in College, because he acted as if he actually enjoyed himself.

SDC10886 our restaurant, The Grapevine

Having already pulled an illegal player substitution on us, CM then proceeded to execute an end run. Two days before kickoff, she emailed me to say that she had invited another blogger and his wife http://markbialczak.com/ . Talk about feeling like a fifth wheel – more like the third rail.

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Sadly, they couldn’t make it. I seated The Bear across from Mr. CM. When he left, he still had both ears, so I guess the son didn’t talk one of them off. I posted a blog called Funny Money, about Canada’s new, polymer plastic bills, but it was before CM knew me, so she hadn’t seen it.

Loonie toonie

They both were aware of them, as well as our Loonie and Toonie – the $1 and $2 coins, but hadn’t actually seen them, so I hauled some out for their inspection. They were fascinated, especially hubby, with the holograms.

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Lunch was delicious, (and paid for by someone else) and the company was sparkling. I remembered to present CM with a refill on her maple candy, (this is where the SWEEEET comes in) and LadyRyl sent along a cloth chew-toy for the dog.  I don’t know if Not CM sneaked in or not.  I kept glancing around for strange looking people, and found everyone staring at Shim and I.  We were It.  😛

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Kooky, the Coke-sniffing drinking bear got to make some new friends. Afterwards, we were invited back to our hosts’ home to meet puppy Cody, and view the almost-completed repairs.

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Possibly overwhelmed by the size and the hair on The Bear, Cody was understandably reticent. It took some skill and patience to get a shot of her. CM then led us on a merry chase down to The Galleria Mall. After another minor episode of not quite being where we should, (wait till you read what I managed on my own later) she abandoned left us in the rain, outside a Sears store.

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I’m not much of a believer in superstitions, but the finding of lucky, welcoming pennies just continued – three days, three pennies found, the first by Shimoniac, on a hip-high shelf in Sears. Please return next week for the story of our stay in a small town city, out in the sticks.

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Eight

Day 4/Part 2 – Satisfaction, or, The Eyes of Ohio’s Potatoes Are Upon You

After escaping from the Children Of The Corn, otherwise known as Stills R Us, we drove up the side road, and, on only the second attempt, parked in front of John Erickson’s house.  Without ever being there, BrainRants should recognize the improvements John has made.  Flak TowerJohn gave me his street number about a year ago, but I misplaced it, and had to rely on AFrankAngle to provide it again.

I’d actually hoped to reach here two days ago, but the muffler intruded.  I didn’t know whether either of them had any idea that we were coming.  At noon on a Saturday seemed a good possibility to find one or both home.  I had an explanatory letter, which I was going to leave if no-one answered.  I tentatively climbed the front stairs and pushed the doorbell, and heard human movement inside, as well as a worried dog.

Soon, a lady Munchkin appeared, opened the door, and stepped outside.  She looked at me quizzically.  To have someone ring their bell is unusual.  To have someone ring their bell, who is not part of their inbred, easily recognized community, was just astronomical.  I didn’t even have a beard, or bib overalls.

Hillbilly Couple

 

 

 

 

 

I told her that I was The Archon, John Smith, from the Archon’s Den blogsite, and I was here to see John E., if he was well enough to accept visitors.  Like John, she accesses several Sci-Fi sites, and the term ‘Archon’ made her wonder if I was someone that she should know, but, I’d asked for John.  He was at home, in fine fettle, and holding back the big dumb dog, to keep it from rushing out the door.  If I didn’t mind the dog, he would be happy to receive me.

We stepped in, and John looked up, puzzled, from a kneeling position.  The wife had let me in, but now it was his turn to wonder who this space alien from Area 51 was.  I let the dog quickly nuzzle me before I repeated the introduction, Archon!  Archon’s Den, John Smith, here to see him.

It was sublime, to watch the thoughts and emotions chase themselves across his face.  Who?  You?! Here?  Now?  Me?  Really?!  I would like to think that John was as pleased and impressed to meet me, as I was to see him.  He jumped up, and we shook hands like we’d never need them again.   Despite Frank visiting a couple of years ago, they just couldn’t believe that someone else would show up out here, in the wilds of Ohio, or that a coterie of other bloggers would worry enough to want me to.

Even worse than our 4 and 1, they have 7 cats, and the dog.  I did not feel that the allergy-laden wife would fare well inside.  In fact, John suggested that we step across the street to the basement meeting room of the church, which he has a key to.  I invited the wife to come along but, as shaken and sore as she was, she wished to remain in the now-stationary and comfortable car, knitting.

After an hour of solitary gum-flapping, his wife showed up with a piece of paper with all kinds of contact info, PO box, cell phone numbers, his and hers email addresses, for when the electrons started flowing again.  She told me that I had a darling wife.  While John and I huddled in the cave, she had spotted the wife, abandoned in the car, and came out and stood beside her, and the gals got to know each other.

Soon, we returned to the car, and photos were taken of various combinations of happy folks, and the front of the house.  John took me around to the back, which as you saw above, looks a little different.

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The mental image we have of someone we’ve never met, never matches the reality when we do.  From his gravatar, I’ve always pictured John as a short, squat, ugly, little garden gnome.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He’s actually fairly tall….  😉

In fact, both he and his lovely wife, are intelligent, well-spoken, friendly, welcoming, down-to-earth people who are wasted on the fellow denizens out there.  I don’t know if he shaves any portion of his head, but he is completely bald, which explains the hats.  He is incredibly curious, and knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, and his wife doesn’t give up any points to him, either.

If John and I hadn’t been ‘guys’, we might have hugged.  We drove away, sadly, all too soon, with a warm happy glow.  Compounded with the reception by Cordelia’s Mom, in Buffalo, we should be smiling all winter.  If you ever have the chance to meet a fellow blogger who is geographically close enough, observe on-line dating precautions, but go for it!

Virtually nothing can top the story of meeting the Windy City Wonderer, but we had another day on this trip, and I have a few occurrences and observations to relate, so there will be one more episode.  Stop back to read the story of the highway cop who didn’t arrest me, during a four-hour trek to Detroit.

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Seven

Day 4/Part 1 – I Shoulda Stood In Bed

Cordelia’s Mom was a joy to visit.  We would do it again in a heartbeat; in fact we may do so, next year, on a weekend, so that we could also meet Cordelia, her Dad, and her sister.  Buffalo is only a two-hour drive, as opposed to four, for Detroit.  But the primary goal of this trip was always to meet John Erickson, especially after his recent, uncharacteristic, internet silence.

Online maps said that it was an hour and a half, from our motel to John’s place.  Add slowdown because of road construction, and the possibility (Certainty!) of getting lost, and it might take three hours.  Allow time for meet and greet, and another four-hour drive to Detroit – it was going to be a lonnng day, so we were up and ready to leave early.

I lamented to the checkout clerk that there was no way to get around the potential traffic jam.  “Oh sure there is.  Just go to the edge of town and turn north on Ohio 23.  It’ll take you right to Newcomerstown.”  Sure enough, the flat print map showed a gently curving line, sweeping at a tangent, right to where we wanted to go.

The Map is not the Territory.  I’d have done better, both on the car, and on the wife, to have chanced the backup on the Interstate.  Any resemblance between Ohio 23, and an actual highway, was purely coincidental.  The optimistic hour and a half stretched to well over two hours.  Not once in that time did I drive the car faster than 40 MPH.

The Golden Dragon roller-coaster at Six Flags might have had more twists, and stomach-turning, heart-stopping plunges.  The only thing that narrow little road didn’t have, was a loop-the-loop, and I’m not entirely certain of that.  The poor wife was shaken and rattled in every arthritic joint.  She ached!

Miss GPS was having another snit because I insisted on taking the back road.  She wouldn’t even RECALCULATE, and kept insisting that I return to the Interstate, so we turned her off.  As we slid under I-77, and neared John’s house, I turned her back on again.

“Turn right on Highway 21, and immediately left on County road 49.”  Well, that might take us in the back way, but I know that John lives just off Highway 93, so I proceeded further west.  Sure enough, in 3 more kilometers, she said, “Turn right on 93, and proceed 7.2 km.”  There, she ordered me to, “Turn left on Highway 2.”  It was a gravel road, barely wide enough for an Amish wagon, so I proceeded further north – till the paved highway ran out, and I turned onto the far end of “Highway 2.”

Lost and Confused Signpost

 

 

 

If I thought I was lost yesterday, the Hell was just beginning.  Already off ‘the paved road’, we soon left gravel again for a dirt road, and finally, in the middle of a ten or twelve mile loop, drove across an acre of grass field, with two ruts in it.  If the Amish drive their buggies this way, they have to use mares or geldings, because a stallion would high-center.  All I could hear was my new $400 muffler going clang, clang, clang.

We finally reached paved road again, the correct paved road, as it happens.  I turned north, and soon reached a church and a cheese factory which I knew were north of John.  Turn around and head south again, soon we finally reached John’s little cluster of houses.

After three hours without a rest stop, both of us had to go – badly.  There’s no There, there.  I pulled in, and asked the lady who runs the two-pump gas station/convenience store/bait, tackle, and hunting shop, about a public washroom.  She just looked at me strangely, until the bearded stunt co-ordinator for Duck Dynasty explained to her that, “Some peoples is got they privies inside t’ buildin’s.”

Rednecks

 

 

 

 

With the possible exception of BrainRants, I swear never to turn off the paved road again.  These folks are so off the beaten track, that Friday the thirteenth doesn’t occur until Sunday.  A lot of them are happy when they reach 21 – because not just everyone’s IQ goes that high out there.  When John and his wife moved in, the average rose considerably, but the same could be said about a load of pumpkins.

After the pit stop, we met John and his wife at their impressive country mansion, and were warmly welcomed, but that, again, is a story for another day.  We left John’s place and turned south on 93.  It did not, at all, resemble the road we’d driven north on.  It did resemble the Highway 93 I’d used Google Street-View to research.

When we popped back out onto the east/west feeder highway, I turned back east and, only a couple of miles up the road, I found County Road 93.  This was the one that Evil Ethel Snitfit had led me astray on.  Way to go, Ohio, put two roads, both numbered 93, right beside each other.  No wonder Rants badmouths Nohio.  😦

 

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Four

Day 2/Part 1 – Forgetful Follies and Awful Aftermath

Since it was the son, Shimoniac, who was originally to accompany me on the Blogger Safari/Pilgrimage, I had not informed the wife about the lollipops I’d obtained, and forgotten to give to Cordelia’s Mom.  After we were in our motel room, I admitted my senile oversight, and we slept on what to do to correct the problem.

The next morning, the wife said that she felt well enough to drive back across town, to deliver them to CM’s house.  With a little help from Ethel GPS, and the knowledge I had obtained during yesterday’s high-speed chase, we made it safely.  I called her private cell phone because I didn’t have her work number, to tell her what we planned to do, but had to leave a voice-mail.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a guy. Men and women do things differently, as CM noted in a recent post.  I was just going to present the suckers in the plain white paper bag that the Mennonite vendor had put them in.

Walmart

 

 

 

The wife was horrified! Soon, we were in a WalMart, buying a small gift bag, and a Thank You card, and rainbow colored tissue paper.  The wife did all the social stuff, and soon had a pretty little package, almost as nice as the one CM had given us the day before, while I dragged my club around, bopping the occasional sabre-toothed tiger or woolly mammoth.

Judy's Manor

 

 

 

 

Using my Stalker Senses, I soon had us at the front door of CM’s modest little suburban cottage.  The turbo-charged soccer-mom van from yesterday was in the driveway, but I didn’t know how she commuted to work.  I pushed the doorbell, but heard neither a ding-dong, (Oh! – He was outside.) nor any movement.  I carefully placed the package between the doors, and headed for the car.

Suddenly, the front door flew open, and Tasmanian Niceness Devil came swirling out to meet us. She comes home for lunch each day to let new puppy, Cody out.  She’d called the motel, but we’d already left, and she just hoped to be there when we arrived.  The woman makes me tired just watching her.  She gets more done by nine AM, than I procrastinate all day.

We had another lovely get-together, which was sadly cut short because she had to get back to work, and we had a long way to go, and a short time to get there, and needed to be on the road. CM directed us on how to reach the Interstate, by telling us to go down her street for “a couple of blocks, and turn right on Delaware Road.  It’ll take you right to the up-ramp.”

A couple of blocks down the street, it was crossed by another narrow, ordinary, residential street, at an odd 60 degree angle, rather than 90, proving that not just Kitchener has strangely laid out roads. I couldn’t see a street sign, but, it seemed hardly the type of road to feed an Interstate onramp.  A ‘couple of blocks’ further on, I could see a big, six-lane road – that must be the one. Sure enough, I turned right on Delaware Ave, and a half-mile later, I sat at a traffic light at the base of the Throughway ramp – waiting for the traffic coming up Delaware Road, where I could have been, if I’d just paid attention.

We’d had toast and juice for breakfast, but now it was approaching 2 PM, and we needed to shake out the kinks, and consume some protein. We did this at a service center at Angola, a small town west of Buffalo.  Here, deep troughs were dug, about a quarter-mile apart, for the east-bound, and west-bound Interstate traffic.

Buffalo Rest Center

Angola Travel PlazaAngola Travel Plaza 3Angola Travel Plaza 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The single service area perches on the top of the hill in the middle. There are parking areas on either side, and enclosed overhead pedestrian walkways out to the center.  I have encountered only one other such middle-located service center.  It’s on the Florida Turnpike, just north of Miami.  People can pass through the buildings, but barricades keep the toll-paying automobiles moving in the correct directions.

It’s another 4 to 5 hours of driving to our next motel, so I’ll relate the details of that in the next segment.  🙂

 

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Three

 

Bison

 

 

 

 

Day 1 – Beautiful Buffalo

Okay, I wrote the above, and the computer didn’t explode, so, on with the post.

With five hours of sleep, and adrenalin coursing through my veins, I was awake to greet the son as he got home from work at 7:15 AM. By 8 o’clock, I had much of our supplies loaded in the car, when the alarm woke the wife.

With this head start, and only a little chivvying on my part, the wife was beautiful enough to leave by ten to 10, instead of my feared ten after.  We took along little snippy Miss GPS, who the wife has named Ethel.  We had three choices to cross the Niagara River, to get to Buffalo.  I had decided on the furthest south, at Fort Erie, even though it meant turning back north on the American side.

Ethel said, “Turn here, to cross at Lewiston.” I said no.  RECALCULATING!  She said, “Turn here, to cross at Niagara Falls.”  I said no.  RECALCULATING!  We pulled into the duty-free, and phoned the son, to tell him we had safely reached the border.

We called Cordelia’s Mom, and told her we were about to cross over. She said she would pick up her mother-in-law, and meet us at the restaurant.  It was just past noon.  We crossed the Peace Bridge, and Miss GPS ordered that I “turn left on David Street”, only, I couldn’t see David St.  The impatient guy behind me honked, and the wife insisted that we proceed, even if it was in the wrong direction.  It was!  RECALCULATING!

We went down to the next exit and reversed direction. Now, Ethel was happy.  She quickly got us to the restaurant.  We had just parked when a silver sport-ute came careening in off the street at high speed, on two wheels, one woman driving, and an older lady passenger desperately clinging to the door handle.

Sure enough, it was CM, who came breezing out of her vehicle like a little whirlwind of happy, helpful good humor.  I don’t know where such a small person packs all that personality.  She soon led us astray into a lovely Greek eatery.

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Since the lunch crowd soon emptied out, the staff was happy (enough) to ignore us, while we had an almost two-hour meet and greet. The time just flew by.  She comprises such an enthralling Presence, that it compounded and concentrated my senility.  I’m sure that I forgot at least half of the things I wanted to say, and ask.

Hoping to get some Nestle Italian Sweet Crème Coffee Mate, which is not available in Ontario, I had asked CM to keep an eye out for it as she did her own shopping, to tell me where to go to buy it.

Then I compounded my sins, by asking her to look for the Goya hot sauce that Madame Weebles had been so kind to send. While not yet totally consumed, it won’t last forever.  We can’t find it in the Detroit area but, since it’s bottled just outside NYC, I thought it might be stocked in Buffalo.  It was, YAY!

Then I had the effrontery to ask CM if she would purchase these items, to save me the running around, and I would repay her.  The nerve of some people’s kids!  She did – at two different stores.  It’s not my good looks; it must have been my glib tongue keyboard.

She carried a stuffed Teddy bear, and we had a stuffed Lamb, as identification. She showed us a good time, but nobody took any clothes off.  With what she claims is ‘Buffalo’ hospitality, first she treated us to a lovely lunch.  I got suspicious when she hauled out a gift bag.

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In it were the Coffee Mate and the Ancho Sauce, but she had also added a box of ‘Buffalo’ sponge candy, and a bottle of Buffalo Wing sauce. When I asked her “How much do I owe you?”, she insisted that these were all presents.

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She asked where we were staying, and I told her at a Red Roof Inn, but way out by the airport. She refused to let me rely on Ethel GPS, and insisted that she would lead me, fifteen miles, and most of an hour, there and back, out of her way, across town – if I could keep up.  With her responsible for where I was going, I had a chance to look around and discover where I was.  That will be important, later.

She led me right to our motel, with a quick, unintended stop at the Bob Evans out front, and did everything except book me in. We gabbed for a few more minutes, and I effusively thanked her for her many kindnesses and generosity.  The wife says that she confided that she was somewhat relieved that I had brought her along, instead of son Shimoniac, The Bear.

I shook her tiny hand and, with tears in my eyes, sadly waved goodbye, as she drove away. Still all misty, I turned back to look at my car – and THE LOLLIPOPS, which are the very center of this tale, still in the back seat.  She had told her mother-in-law about the candy, and a couple of blocks away, MIL asked, “But where are the Lollipops??”

What will she do about them?? What will Archon do about them??  Will we return to Ontario –eventually – and mail them to her?  Will I just say to Hell with the diet (again), and eat them?  Tune in next week to find out.

My only complaint is that she says she does not find me as grumpy in person as I seem on my blog site. I don’t know how that can possibly be.  I see that she has started referring to me, the World’s Champion Grumpy Old Dude as G.O.D. – not to be confused with God.  I have more power, authority, and ill temper.

***

I have a poll for my readers.  There are several more of these episodes.  Would you prefer to be bored all at once, sequentially, or would you rather have me insert the occasional rant?

Erickson Expose

HE’S ALIVE….ALIVE!!

Just got home from my exciting trip, and only have a little bit of time and energy tonight, but I felt that should inform those of my readers who were worried and asked or encouraged me. The primary mission of the journey was a success.  I managed to locate and speak with Doctor Livingston Erickson in the wilds of darkest Ohio.

He is alive, and as normal as he ever is.  His vanishment from the social media scene has been caused by a fluke series of electronic frustrations.  It began with a PC that ate its own hard drive.  He located a used laptop, and spent several days building bookmarks, and teaching it other tricks.  Just when he got it domesticated, it went blind.  It still computed, but nothing he did could get it to display on the screen.

His internet access recently changed to a new, local Wi-Fi tower. In Ohio, they build these on top of tall hills, in an area well-known for lightning storms, but apparently no-one thought to install a copper grounding cable.

He had tamed yet another computer, to the point where he knew he had over 3000 unread emails, when the inevitable happened. He’s now impatiently waiting for fried circuits to be replaced, and a ground cable installed, and feels he should be ready to re-assume the title of Supreme Commenter within a week or so.

He and his wife were overjoyed to meet me and my wife, but were absolutely amazed that anyone would make the trip, and that others would be concerned enough to urge and encourage me to do so. I’ll give more details when that section of the Blog Fellowship series is published.

Rest easy, the lost is found, even if he’s silent on WordPress a bit longer. In the meantime, spread the word – King John the Digital is alive and well.

My personal thanks to AFrankAngle, whose assistance and guidance made this trip the enjoyable success that it was. Now Soon, back to our regularly scheduled program.

 

Archon 😆

The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Two

 

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Before I set even one foot onto the WordPress savannah, to begin this meet-the-bloggers safari, I found that I was being treated like a criminal – an alleged criminal, a might-be criminal. What’s worse is, I have to admit that it’s valid.

The first stop on our trip will be a short visit with Cordelia’s Mom, in the Buffalo area. Like me, she had Cordelia, a daughter who already had a blog site.  Like me, her daughter pushed her in front of a blog-bus on the information super-highway.

Since Shimoniac and I are both about as dangerous to anyone, male or female, as a stuffed Tickle Me Elmo doll, I naively assumed we might meet at the home of one or the other. Not so!  We’re online daters, not to be trusted till we prove we can be.  We will wisely be met at a very public place.

As CM noted, “It’s not as if the writer of a long-established blogsite would turn out to be an axe-murderer.” but there are other disturbing possibilities.  I realise that it’s just as true for us.  If Shim and I follow Hansel and Gretel into the gingerbread house, we might end up being sold to white slavers.  If so, it better be by the pound.  If I cease posting, you’ll know that colonoscopy thing was just for practice.

Actually, since this trip is planned to last five days, I won’t be posting anything till early next week. Don’t despair, and please return then.

After most of a day and a night in Buffalo, we plan to wend our merry way through the Amish Paradise of eastern Ohio, to the country mansion of the Baron of the Blogsites, John Erickson. John has been off the air since about the middle of July.  Repeated emails from both AFrankAngle and me have produced no response, either from John, or his wife.  We fear the worst, but hope for the best.

While I don’t have permission to just show up, I still plan to stop by his place unannounced, to see if we can get some information. So John, if you’re reading this, that’s not the Fuller Brush man, or Avon, knocking on your door.  Failing contact with J.E. or Mrs E, I have a letter I plan to leave, telling of all our love and how we miss him, and urging him to rejoin our community.

I thought John, and perhaps his wife, might like to accompany us to the knife show just to his south, and possibly over to see the Y-shaped bridge in Zanesville, and a couple of strange S-shaped bridges nearby.

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S-bridge

 

 

**

The best-laid plans never survive the first contact with reality. The greatest chance of any success is to adapt, as much and as quickly as possible.

The son booked all three of his weeks of holidays in the summer “shutdown”, when it’s really hot in the plastics molding plant. He asked for a week of leave-of-absence for this trip.  In previous years, others have asked and were quickly granted.  After five weeks of no answer, he was suddenly told by the plant super, that they are just starting a new, large contract, and his leave was denied.  The curse of being indispensible.

In all previous references to Shimoniac, and subsequently, please read, Granma LadyBug. The wife is stocking up on antihistamines and accompanying me for an abbreviated trip.

The day we wish to leave, Cordelia has an unbreakable business meeting. We will be met instead by Cordelia’s Mom, and her mother-in-law.  While BrainRants says he’d like to meet, he has urgent family affairs to handle this weekend.  Perhaps another time….  We can only hope to find the reckless recluse, John Erickson.  This thing is coming apart faster than wet Kleenex.

We’re about to leave, carrying another $3.18 in orphaned American coinage, but promise to return with fabulous tales of genies, and Rocs, and flying carpets…. wait, that’s already been done. Whatever stories I return with, they’ll be brilliant.  See you soon.   😀