Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Living in the backyard of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame I guess puts us in the front yard of the National Football Hall of Fame and the Inventors Hall of Fame. Thanks to my son's curiosity, I've been to the Rock N Roll Hall but I've never visited the other two. I guess I need to follow my own "Backyard" advice and check them out.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Northeast Ohio offers quite a few things. Among them the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame which has a great museum detailing much of the history of the music. Right next to it however is the Great Lakes Science Center. It was there we spent the better part of a Saturday with our visiting seven year old grandson.
There is always a featured exhibit and we visited it first. The exhibit was about robots. It wasn't as interactive as I thought it would be but we had a lot of fun trying to beat a robot at putting together a puzzle. The robotic arm had quite a personality and sneered at us when we failed.
The other floors of the Science Center are a wonderland for the technically intrigued. Some of it was over the head of a seven year old--which in turn meant it was over my head too. But on the third floor we both came alive with all the hands on exhibits. Even if you couldn't understand the principle behind some of them (although my husband tried hard to explain a few), it was still fun to watch the cause and effect of spinning a wheel to create a vortex in a tube of liquid or the optical illusions you could create with mirrors.
Of course there's always the old static electricity lesson. Nothing like creating a bad hair day!
I think our favorite exhibit though was the space shuttle simulator where you could try to land a space shuttle. The machine was very patient and stopped you when you got into trouble. If you crashed anyway, it just told you that with a little more practice, you would become a pilot. Yeah, right, like the real NASA budget could afford to let you crash one of those babies.
What's in your backyard?
In this economical squeeze, you might want to take another look at what's available to explore. I'll bet you haven't seen it all. For a start, check out the museums or a close by science center like ours.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"Oh," I said, "was it Mickey Mouse or Over the Hedge?"
"No." He shook his head and then beamed his beautiful smile at me. "It was 'Safe on a Plane' movie."
I looked to his mom for help. She explained that he was quite taken with the safety video that was played before takeoff--the one most of us just brush off if we've ever traveled before. A few weeks later when we flew to Florida for our cruise, we stopped off to see our grandkids for a bit. He was excited to see us and when he realized that we had flown, his first question was, "Did you watch the movie?"
My daughter-in-law found the YouTube version online so here it is for all of you avid airplane safety video viewers. It's actually quite pleasant to watch. And CAN YOU FIND THE "HIDDEN MICKEY?" Pause it at 47 seconds and you'll see it.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Yesterday I went through and tightened up the labeling on my posts so that I could list them on the side of my blog as an index. It was interesting looking at some of the posts I've done over the five years I've been at this. Here are some of the things I discovered:
- I do a lot of whining about cold weather and snow.
- I posted a lot of whining about cold weather and snow.
- I'm still whining about cold weather and snow.
- Once in a while I have an intelligent and even somewhat deep thought/observation.
- I can be humorous at times--musing about life's quirks.
- I've visited a lot of unique places in the world--and there's lots more to see.
Well, it didn't get much writing done yesterday but at least it allowed me to watch the inauguration with my laptop perched on my knees and my feet up in the recliner. Hmmm. Maybe that should become my new office chair.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
"Sabbath, first and foremost, is a gift from our loving God. He invites us to take a day to rest from our labor, so that we might engage in relationship with him and with others. Its purpose is to refresh us physically and spiritually, to celebrate our freedom, to draw us close to God, and yet to remind us that we are not God.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
There was no comparison however to the noise of the fireworks in Curacao. At times it was deafening. Our morning was passed somewhat quietly as we took a country drive with a bus full of cruisers to the north end of the island. Along the way we stopped at a former slave’s home, a cave, and a beach to enjoy some of the beauty the island has to offer.
The former slave home was quite interesting—two rooms that housed a couple and their thirteen children. As the story goes, the main room was for the husband and the children and only the mother slept in the small bedroom. The husband was only allowed into the bedroom twice a month which I guess was sufficient enough to produce 13 children. Slavery was quite a business on Curacao at one time and there are more than a dozen plantations as a result of it.
There are numerous beaches on the west side of the island—all very beautiful and well kept. They are run by the government who charges three dollars a head for their use.
The cave area along the shore was interesting for the rugged lava landscape that met the blue of the ocean pounding against it. The island is covered in cactus more than in trees but at the time of our visit, the rainy season, the landscape was quite green.
Willemstad is the port town of Curacao and is divided in two by the harbor. The two parts are connected by a large bridge for vehicular traffic and a floating pontoon bridge for pedestrian traffic that swings open when ships or boats enter the harbor. The town is colorful and delightfully quaint with its gingerbread townhouse look. I’m told the shopping is good but I’m not an expert in that area—no matter what my husband may say.
Back to the noisy celebration: As we walked through the streets of Willemstad, we had to cover our ears. Chains of firecrackers were laid out a block long and lighted in various parts of the city. It would take a good twenty minutes for them to all go off. Meanwhile large clouds of smoke rose and the air smelled of fireworks all day. Larger bottle rockets and, I’m guessing, cherry bombs added to the merrymaking. As the Eurodam pulled out, we saw preparations for what I assume was a spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
Our New Year’s Eve celebration was lively aboard ship that evening. A formal night, we were dressed in tux and gown and sporting the appropriate party hats. In the atrium of the ship hung the ship’s bell and at midnight, amidst balloons and champagne and noise makers and streamers, the bell was rung to welcome in the New Year. Crew and passengers alike celebrated the hope that a new year offers.