Category Archives: Travel

Speed Limit

On my way to work on Friday I was deep in thought and suddenly looked up to see a police cruiser on the side of the road – I was going 37 instead of 30. I immediately took my foot off the gas, but as I looked into the rear view mirror, I saw the cruiser pulling away from the curb and the flashing lights starting up.

All kinds of thoughts went through my brain: I don’t want to pay for a ticket, I don’t want any points on my license, do red cars get more tickets, I’m going to be late for work, what if I cry when the officer comes to my window.

Luckily someone in the other lane just behind me must have been going a bit faster than I was when we passed the radar; the cop pulled the other car over. I feel like I dodged a bullet and I went the speed limit all the way to work after that.

Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket of any kind?

Getting a Lyft

The weekend post comes to us from CrystalBay.

I have increasing anxiety about driving after dark, so I decided to scope out Lyft. I couldn’t figure out how to use the app to determine the cost of being driven to the few locations that I regularly go to. After messing around for half an hour, I decided to order a ride because then the price would pop up. My clever plan was to then immediately cancel it. The problem, however, is that I couldn’t figure out how to cancel it!

Within minutes, Jeff texted he’d be here in ten minutes. I called him directly to cancel, explaining what I’d done. Two minutes later, Amy texted she’d be here in five minutes. I again called her to cancel. Three minutes later, Tom called saying that he was pulling up in my driveway! I told him my woe story and he showed me how I could use the app, then mentioned that each canceled ride had cost me $5. Altogether, I’d just lost $15 because of not understanding how to use this app. What still troubles me is that, after my initial call canceling, other drivers kept coming. I wondered how many more would show up.

The good news is finding out that, between here and Navarre, where 90% of my needs are met, Lyft only cost 87 cents!

What technologies have challenged (or defeated) you??

Take the Cannoli

I’ve now had another revelatory meal while on my travels. Three weeks ago, while on my Sicily trip, we had lunch at a winery on the slopes of Mount Etna.  Wineries really know how to feed you and it was a fabulous meal of small bites and a lot of wine.

Then the chef rolled out a little tray with a plate of cannoli shells. They were unfilled and I didn’t think too much about it.  I’ve had cannoli many times but always in the same circumstance – off a tray of assorted small desserts brought by a caterer to my office.  (Often when suppliers come to visit us they have lunch or snacks catered as part of their presentation.)  The cannoli on these trays are sweet and soggy – I often go for something else on the tray, because I’ve never been impressed with Don Corleone’s favorite dessert.

Imagine my surprise when the chef’s assistant brought out a pastry bag of ricotta mixture and the chef proceeded to fill the little cannoli shells right in front of us (talking the whole time). Then imagine my additional surprise when I bit into the pastry and realized that I’ve never had a cannoli properly in my whole life.  Not once.  Crisp shell surrounds the creamy ricotta filling.  Heaven.

Those of you who know me, know that I was googling where to purchase cannoli molds before I even got back to the States. I tested the first batch on Linda and tim at Blevins two weeks ago.  They were OK but I hadn’t been able to roll out the dough think enough so they weren’t as crispy as they needed to be.  I fixed that over the weekend by running the dough through my pasta machine.  Perfetto!

Not sure when I’ll get around to making cannoli again, but now that I know how and have the gadgets, who knows.

When was your last revelatory meal?

Mussorgsky, Please

I flew back from Salt Lake City on Saturday, and I spent the trip to Minneapolis seated next to a three year old boy. I was a little worried that it would be a noisy and fractious trip back, but I was very wrong.

After getting seated and belted in, my small travelling companion asked his dad,  “I would like to hear Mussorgsky, please”.  Dad found Pictures at an Exhibition  on the airplane audio player, and the boy affixed his headphones, sat back, and listened.  After a bit of that, he said  “Now I would like to hear Tchaikovsky”.  That recording was on a personal audio player, and he happily listened to that for a while. He then watched about 90 minutes of Puppy Pals, a cartoon involving two pugs who have lovely adventures.  The boy wasn’t wiggly at all.

I wasn’t too surprised about this, as I saw that the dad was reading Thucydides The History of the  Peloponnesian War.  The child got a little impatient as we were getting ready to land in Minneapolis, but he handled it well as he and his dad played tic tac toe until we were at the gate. Oh, that all children were so well managed and well behaved.

When did music become important to you? What music do you remember from your childhood? How have your musical tastes changed over the years?

The Policy Makers Have a Party

I wrote yesterday about the dull conference I am attending.  Well, Friday evening the policy makers let down their collective hair, and my, do these people know how to have fun. All they need is a live band playing great dance music, lots of food, some,  but not too much alcohol, and red and white striped shirts and stocking caps. (It was a Where’s Waldo themed party). All the rancor, grinding of teeth, and pedantry disappeared, and everyone just wanted to enjoy themselves.  Many have hair much greyer than mine,  many are much older than I am.  The conversations today were heated, and people became angry with one another. It was very refreshing to see how we can disagree but still be united, at least on the dance floor.

What do you think makes for a good party?  Tell about some good parties you have been to?  What kind of party do you want to throw?

The March of the Policy Makers

I am attending a conference in my role as a member of a regulatory board.  The focus of the conference is professional competency, mobility in employment, and international standards in ethics and professional conduct. These are quite important topics when you have to consider how to evaluate foreign trained professionals for licensure in your jurisdiction,  but my is it boring to listen to for 4 days.  When it gets too tedious I surreptitiously check my email or the Trail,  imagine everyone in weird hats, or else marching around to this Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March I Heard on MPR before I Ieft home.  I see others seated around me doing similar things, so I don’t think I am the only one who needs some stimulation.

Tell about how you handle boredom.  What is the most boring, tedious thing you ever had to do? What is your favorite march?