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by Lloyd Treichel
Dateline: July 2, 2004 -- Green Bay, Wisconsin
Future travel plans... To Eastern Canada. To get there, Lake Michigan is something of an obstacle for wheeled vehicles so I will take a land route through Illinois, Indiana and into Michigan heading north of Detroit to cross into Canada. Stopping near/at Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City, the journey will continue to Eastern Canada and back to the US into New England.
A Wandrin column will be posted from Canada if I am able to get Internet access. Otherwise, don't expect anything until September. Perhaps later.
Recent Travel ... Leaving Colorado on June 2nd, I arrived in Green Bay a week later. Some stops of interest along the way included:
Blue Rapids, Kansas... Some towns have spawned astronauts or Nobel prize winners. A sign in the Blue Rapids city park commemorates this small town's fifteen minutes of fame. It was in 1913 when the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees played an exhibition game at the city park.
Homestead National Monument of America.... is located near Beatrice, Nebraska. To promote westward expansion, the United States passed the Homestead Act of 1862 which granted 160 acres of free land to Americans to live their dream. This monument details the experience as dreams were sometimes shattered as they farmed the prairies.
National Balloon Museum... in Indianola, Iowa. The 200 year history of ballooning is displayed along with collections and memorabilia from numerous balloon events. As for most ballooning, it is a very colorful museum.
National Farm Toy Museum... is located at Dyersville, Iowa. Some of the farm toys that I had as a child were displayed along with many others. However, I played with my toys -- including the destruction of the toys. Any toys I had as a child would have ended up in collections about the way children treat their toys. Among the many barnyard toys, there was the exact same one I had as a child. Of course, the museum piece was still intact.
Names of towns... This proves to be an opportunity to wonder how a city acquired its name. Some seem obvious like New Vienna, Luxemburg, and Genoa. Others seem a real puzzle such as Nodaway, What Cheer and Lost Nation.
Nodaway was a sleepy little town? Nothing to cheer about in What Cheer? Lost Nation is a commune trying to find its way?
Rained a lot and standing water... was the view as I crossed Iowa and that continued as I arrived in Green Bay. Lakes covered many farm fields. Perhaps it might have been a good year for rice. During one evening's rain, a tornado touched down nearby. That is what happens when one lives in a home described as "tornado bait".
Mosquitoes... are abundant with all this rain. Whenever outdoors, I have found the best way to counter the mosquitoes is to be with other people. Then the mosquitoes are spread across a larger population of blood donors.
Pringles with riddles... is something I could do without. Riddles are printed on the Pringle. You ask the question of your chomping friends and as you wait for an answer, you eat the Pringle. A senior moment hits and you realize you have forgotten the answer.
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame... presents the history of a professional football team that belongs to the Wisconsin citizens and how it has survived and excelled in the National Football League.
Houdini's life ... is an exhibit at the Outagamie County Historical Society museum. As a youth, Appleton, WI was his home. His life, beliefs and vaudeville career is detailed along with the secrets of his "death defying" escapes.
POW camps were located throughout Wisconsin during World War II. That was new to me. That was part of another exhibit at the museum.
Supersize ... It isn't just McDonalds... Everything comes in large servings -- everywhere. Triple dip ice cream cones. 48 ounce soft drinks. 16 ounce steaks. Now if Supersize isn't available, customers will order two items. More profit for McDonalds!
It isn't just food... Our culture is obsessed with things "supersized". Wal-Mart Supercenter. Home Depot. Big Kmart. Size of new homes. SUVs.
Staying fit... This is not easy. There were a few hikes before I left Colorado and some bike rides along the trails in the Denver area.
Here in Green Bay, I force myself to do a little walking through Geocache hunts. Another day, I took a bike ride on the Fox River Trail between Green Bay and DePere.
Health insurance... Yikes. Received the notice that the premium rate went up another 20%. As I have said before: it has nothing to do with health and everything to do with estate protection. It is the largest single expense that I have.
To avoid spending money on health issues, I have healthy eating habits. However, a balanced diet requires that I continue the...
Cinnamon Roll Search ... On a journey in Colorado I headed to my favorite bakery in Estes Park. It was closed, so I went to another bakery.
There I had the worst cinnamon roll -- ever! With whole wheat, almost no sugar, very little cinnamon and less frosting, it could have been a dinner roll. I'm sorry, but when I want a cinnamon roll --- I don't want healthy. I WANT SWEET. After that I was looking for a Hostess Twinkie.
Fortunately, there are lots of decent cinnamon rolls across the country.
As I passed through Amana, Iowa, I had a cinnamon roll at the Amana Bakery. It was large, but it had the balance necessary for a great roll.
One of my favorite cinnamon rolls is at the Stadium Bakery in Green Bay. I had the last one the day I showed up. Whew! That was close. I've had several since then.
Another favorite bakery is in Seymour, WI. As I entered the bakery, another customer was going out. It was a minute later that I found out the last cinnamon rolls had gone out with that customer. Time for "balance", so I had an apple turnover.
Vanity Plates ....
In the last column I asked if you knew the following:
MR1DRFL -- No one had a problem with this one.
XLR8ING -- Several others -- along with me -- identified this as "accelerating". Several others responded with the correct answer: "exhilarating".
Now to some of the recent finds:
IMWHOIM --- They wouldn't issue "GOD" for a vanity plate, so was this the second choice?
LIVLIFE --- My philosophy.
GEPPETO --- on the owner's car of a clock and gift store north of Kewaunee, WI. At the store entrance stands a 20 foot grandfather clock that is said to be the largest in the world.
LAMBYPI --- on a Cadillac. Now isn't that just sweet!
Here are some to think about:
Bumper Sticker.... "Women want me, fish fear me." on a Jeep.
Quotes.... "Happiness is a crock of beans" on a grain elevator in eastern Colorado.
"If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel."
--Sir Vivian Fuchs
Recent Reads... Jamie Clarke's "Everest to Arabia" is a story of the author's adventure first to the conquering of Mount Everest and then the crossing of the Arabian desert. As Clarke crosses the desert, through flashbacks he describes the Everest experience while comparing the two adventures.
"Accordion Crimes" by E. Annie Proulx. The life of an accordion as it travels from hand to hand and the lives of its successive owners are wrapped up in its voice. The American immigration experience is wrapped into the characters and lives of the owners. Proulx has imagination, wit and a deep sense of character at times bordering on the absurd.
"A Short History of Everything" by Bill Bryson. Bryson is known as a travel writer. However, this very different travel book is through the realm of science and what is known -- and in some cases -- not known. As he describes what is known, he tells the who, how, when and where of that knowledge. It is an extremely easy read about everything in science and hard to put down.
Note: Thanks to Bob Martin for recommending Bryson's book.
Since I won't read the book, my thoughts about Bill Clinton's book are summed up in a George Orwell quote: "An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats."
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