Rag-goo: What the #377?

Okay, during the Olympics, they ran the following commercial quite a few times.  The more times I saw it, the more questions I had:

  1. It's 8:00 and they hadn't even started dinner?  And they go with pasta?  It's going to take that water a while to boil.  Are they eating dinner at 10:00 pm?
  2. After suggesting coitus interruptus extremus, do you really need to add to the visual by snapping a shaft in half?
  3. Does the pasta sauce have special "mind bleach" powers?  Or did mom & dad spike it with some Benedryl to knock the kid out and convince him that it was all a dream?
  4. Have you and your partner ever been caught in the act?  By your kids?  Parents? Roommate? Cops?  Do tell.

And, "No", we never have.  Knock on wood!


Totally Running Things Over Tuesday

I saw this video a while ago over @ Gizmodo, and thought that you, my faithful readers, would find a dose of science on a Tuesday morning.

Will more people swerve out of their way to HIT a turtle or snake on the side of the road?

Can't blame the people running off the road to hit the spider.  Spiders suck.  But I'm not swerving out of my way, risking my own life, just to grease one along a California highway.

What would you have done?


Oh, Hi. Ohio – Part LAST!

Alrighty now, the big wrap up.

For our last full day in Ohio, we all went to Cedar Point Amusement Park and then scattered to the four winds.  My parents went to see shows, my sister's family hit the water park, and we struck out for the main amusement park to see what we could see.  One of the first things we saw was this teaser for a dinosaur exhibit inside.


But right inside the gate, we ran into Linus, Charlie Brown, & Sally.  (Cedar Park has an eclectic mix of licensed characters: Peanuts, Hello Kitty, & the Minions from "Despicable Me" to name a few.)  Charlie Brown was happy to see the cute little red haired girl.


Out first ride, starting things out mellow, the Ocean Motion rocking ship.

Well, we thought it was mellow.  There was a teenage girl behind us F-A  R-E-A-K I-N-G O-U-T over it.  We upped the thrill level a little on the next ride, the Ferris wheel.


The Daughter tried stealing a cookie from Snoopy…


But Snoopy doesn't hold a grudge.


Or maybe he didn't, as we ended up in the wood stocks!  ("Woodstock"… get it?)


Let me pause here to talk about Cedar Point.  Aesthetically, it's not Disney World.  Or even Great America.  Closer to the state fair.  While there's some "Camp Snoopy" elements, the "theme" in "theme park" is limited.  The place is about the rides.  Specifically the roller coasters.  If you are a coaster fan, this is your place.  They call it "America's Roller Coast" for a reason.  And you do get to interact with the rides, even while not riding on them.

CP-07The Corkscrew corkscrews thru the park… CP-08as the Iron Dragon makes a staffing run.

And we took a ride on the Iron Dragon.  It was a cool coaster.  I think we ended up riding it 3 or 4 times.


If you want to see what it's like to ride it, flip over to Cora's Blog for a kick @$$ video.  Next came the giant swings.  The girls went for a twirl, I don't handle spinning well, so I held the purses.

CP-11 CP-12

This summer, Cedar Point is doing a Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit.  They had some pretty cool animatronic reptiles running around a little wooded section of the park.  They moved.  They roared.

CP-13 CP-16
CP-14 CP-15
CP-18  They smelled… CP-17but you couldn't ride them.

After the dinos, we road Iron Dragon one last time, we got some souvenirs,


had our fortune told by Zoltar (I didn't ask to be BIG)…


And as we left, some clouds rolled in.  Where were they when the sun relentlessly baked us on the mini-golf course?

And that was that.  All that was left was to pack up, say our good-byes to everyone and hit the road.

After one last game of ping pong…

Yes, the daughter and I got matching Charlie Brown shirts at the gift shop…

And one more look out onto Lake Erie…

And one last look at the Buster Brown house…


It was time to get settled in for the 5 hour drive home.


And before we knew it, Chicago lay before us, welcoming us home with bumper to bumber traffic.


All things considered, it was a great vacation.  Good to spend time with my parents and sister's family.  And a good way to start off what has been a crazy summer.


Just to let ya'll know…


Cora & The Daughter have been out in the Pacific Northwest for 4 weeks now, and won't be home for another week.  While I did go out to visit them for 10 days in the middle of it all, it seems like forever ago.  I miss having these two running around the joint.

And back to the previously scheduled blog post (once I write it.)


Oh, Hi. Ohio – Part 5

Yup, still in Ohio.  This is our Thursday.  The second to the last full day.  We kind of took things a little quiet after a busy day the day before.


Milan, Ohio, is the birthplace of Thomas Edison.  And they really don't want you to forget it.  But in a cute, small town way, not in a big and vulgar way.

So, after breakfast, we headed back to Milan (Back? Yeah, we tried once before LINK) to see Thomas Edison's birthplace.  It was really an interesting place, and I would recommend it if you are in the area.

Ohio-Thurs-02(Niece, brother-in-law, nephew's girlfriend, nephew.)

The office (the blue building) houses some of the collection.  The red brick one behind it, is the actual birthplace.  In the office, they had a cool old phonograph, where we learned that it didn't have a volume control, so to make it quieter, you had to "put a sock in it."

We also got to hold one of Edison's two Grammy awards.  (The other one is in New Jersey.)  Trivia – It's silver because it's a technical Grammy.  Gold is for performing.

Ohio-Thurs-04My sister with the Grammy. (Niece in background.) Ohio-Thurs-05My nephew practicing his acceptance speach.  (My dad in background)

Our tour of the house was given by a wonderful guy (whose name escapes me) who really seemed to enjoy his job.  He had worked there for like, 30 years, and had worked for Edison's sister or daughter or something.  Oh, he knew all the stories and told them in such a conspiratorial voice that you felt you were really getting the good dirt.

Ohio-Thurs-06 (Tour guide on left, sister in mirror, Mom & Dad)

After the tour, we wandered around Milan a while.  Cora got her picture taken with the man himself outside a restaurant on the town square.


We then hit a couple of antique stores downtown while we were there.

Ohio-Thurs-08 Ohio-Thurs-09 So, if need an olde tyme wagon…

After the morning, we all went back to the house and got ready for the family photo shoot.  Mom wanted a family photo (missing my brother's family, since they didn't shop up, if you remember).  My sister arranged with a local photographer to do the shoot.  We went to a local arboretum and got this shot on the bridge.

Ohio-Thurs-01(The Daughter, me, Cora, Dad, Mom, Sister, B-I-L, Niece, Nephew, Nephew's GF)

After our pictures, we decided to go out for grub.  My parents had actually been in town a few days before the rest of us, and Mom knew of an Italian restaurant to try.  She knew where it was, it was behind the Super 8.

Then Mom fired up her GPS.

We hit the road that the restaurant was on, and it said to turn right (north).  So I did.

Then it said to make a u-turn, and head south.  So I did.

Then it said to make a u-turn, and head north.  So I did.

When it said to make another u-turn, I lost my mind and pulled into Olive Garden.  I was insane with rage.  I love my mother, but when she is in the car with me, she can push my every last button.  She then started whining about how she didn't want to eat at Olive Garden on vacation.  She could eat there any time.  She wanted to eat at a crappy Italian restaurant out behind the Super 8.

Or that's what I think I heard over the blood pounding in my ears.  I got out me cell phone, and got the address of the place, and pulled up Google maps and found out how to get there.  We took off again (did I mention my sister's family was following us, laughing their fool heads off, knowing that I would be insane.).  When her TomTom suggested another u-turn, I shouted for her to turn it off, or I was going to take a hammer to one or both of them.

We finally made it, and I made sure that I was at the opposite end of the table from Mom.  The restaurant was not particularly good.  Not bad, but almost, almost average.  They seemed surprised that people NOT from the motel were eating there.  Oh well, it's her anniversary, and if she wants to eat ho-hum Italian, fine.  (Yes, I know that Olive Garden isn't great Italian, but it would have been better than this joint.)

The next day, our last full day, would be at the Cedar Point amusement park.


Oh, Hi. Ohio – Part 4

Wow, it's been a while.  Sorry, all kind of stuff has been going on.

Let's see…

  1. Cora and The Daughter left me…
    … to go to Washington for 10 days for some court stuff.  Without going into details, papers have been signed, sealed and delivered.
  2. I took a 10 day trip out to Washington to see them and to visit with the family out there.  (More to come, promise.)
  3. Cora and The Daughter are still in Washington for another 2 weeks, so I'm batching it.

Now, to recap the story I am telling from earlier this summer – We're summering for a week out in Northern Ohio with my family (most of them anyway) for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  (And to read/see my wife's account, click HERE.)

And we're heading to Cleveland for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and to an Indians vs. Reds game.


Cleveland was about an hour or so east of where we were staying, so we all got up, loaded up the family trucksters and rolled out.  When we got to the glass pyramid that houses the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (RNRHOF), there were a whole mess of art guitars on the plaza.  When we got inside, we saw some cool cars hanging around…


U2 – Zoo Tour


ZZ Top - Eliminator


And then there was THIS dude hanging around, too.  Unfortunately, there we weren't allowed to take any pictures in the exhibit halls.  What I will say about the exhibit halls is, "If you are in Cleveland, you owe it to yourself to do this, but give yourself all day."  The Hall does a pretty good job of having interesting & educational exhibits as well as the "stuff" you expect, like Michael Jackson's glove and Janis Joplin's car.

They have a movie with all the inductees playing, but just a warning, it's a LOOOOOONG mofo, so make sure you've peed before going in.  A couple of things we noticed while watching the movie:

1 – All the Beatles but Ringo are in as individuals.  And Ringo's my favorite.

2 – While David Crosby is only in twice (The Byrds & Crosby, Stills, & Nash), he seemed to be in every third picture they showed on the screen.

After the Hall, we had to haul, haul our butts across downtown to Progressive Field to see the baseball game. 


My sister's family is really into baseball, and are slowly trying to pickup every baseball stadium they can on various vacations.  And the Indians were playing my childhood favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds.  We got to the stadium, and the sun was BLAZING, so Cora and The Daughter hid out in the shade for the first couple of innings.


They did eventually join me for the game.  That's my dad behind me, and my sister and my talking to my nephew in the upper right.

And, of course, I met a giant hot dog, and then watched him kick buns in the hot dog derby.  Sadly, the Reds didn't do nearly as well, and got THUMPED by the Indians.

BB-02 BB-07

So, we make it to the van and head for home.  Unfortunately, my GPS just isn't locking onto a satellite.  Even worse, my mother, in the back seat, had hers out, and it was.  And the thing is psycho.  First it had us going the wrong way, but that might not have been a bad deal if it had just swung us over to the interstate.  But no, it U-turned us BACK toward the stadium and bumper to bumper traffic, and road construction.  Finally, I rebooted my device, and it got a lock right away, but too late to help.  As we got to the stadium, again, Mom's device, and hence my mom, too, insisted that I need to take a left to get on the expressway.  She must have told me a dozen times.  The only issue was that any fool could see that the on ramp was under construction.  Finally, I told her that it was her car, and if she REALLY wanted me to drive thru the barricades, up the partial ramp, and plunge into the abyss, I would if it would make her happy.  "Well, I'm just telling you want the Tom Tom says."

And that people, is how people die by GPS.  Unfortunately, this wasn't the only time I threatened to take a hammer to the her GPS as it drove us around in circles.

But more on that next time.