AAA Plug

If you plan on doing any traveling by car, you absolutely must join AAA. Besides being covered if you break down, run out of gas, or generally need automotive help, the free maps and tour books can get you around the country and in and out of strange cities, and the attraction and restaurant recommendations are good. And if you call them, they’ll help you find an office near you while you’re on the road and give you directions so you can restock your maps on the go. That’s not including the fact that, if you’re going to many tourist … Continue reading AAA Plug

Minty Goodness

I’ve almost exhausted my stock of Bobs Old Timey Peppermint Pure Sugar Sticks, which I can buy at one store in my area only during the month of December, and while I could order them from this site, I’m not sure that I really need a box of 24 bags. They’re just so yummy and have such a funky texture and give you such a great mid-afternoon sugar rush. They’re slightly porous, like those peppermint puffs, except not quite so much.

Soda Cults

Oh, I know people in the Cult of Diet Coke. It’s become so common, I was surprised to see it’s only been around since 1982, though I do remember Tab (which definitely wasn’t a man’s drink the way Diet Coke can be). Maybe if a Diet Coke With Lime Cult started up, I might get on board….

High Pressure Sales

I “helped” a friend buy a car recently, and I was really impressed with how well they handled the whole process. I don’t do well in that setting in part because I have a hard time believing the stereotypes about car salesmen. So I found this investigative report on selling cars at Edmunds really interesting. They sent a writer in to work at two different car lots, one high-pressure and one of the “no haggle” style. The difference is shocking, even if things aren’t as low-pressure as they pretend at the no haggle places. Don’t miss the sidebar photos either … Continue reading High Pressure Sales

Emily’s Gate

Back in the 70’s, the gate to Emily Dickinson’s family burial plot was stolen, but it was just recently found in a Vermont antique shop and is being returned to its rightful place. It’s an interesting story of the gate being passed through many hands, for a while serving as a fireplace screen, and not having been identified until now. The brass plaque from the 50’s which would have clearly identified its source had been removed from the gate (probably when it was originally stolen), and had been returned to the Dickinson Family Association six years ago, at which time … Continue reading Emily’s Gate

Czar Czarism

Just stopping back here to record, mostly for myself, that my department’s volunteer system, known around here as “czarships”, has been deconstructed in the entry “The new age of Czarism (and of Czar Czarism)” at Very entertaining.

Perfect Ithaca Weekend

If you’re local, or near-local, to Ithaca, this is perhaps the best weekend of the year around these parts, so get out and enjoy yourself. The Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival, Craft Show and Sale starts today and runs through Sunday on the Commons. At the least, go pick up a peck of local apples and bake some pies this weekend. Then, on Saturday, get over to the opening day of the fall Friends of the Library Book Sale, the 3rd largest used book sale in the country. The prices drop each day, so remember to go back next week, and … Continue reading Perfect Ithaca Weekend

September Holidays

Lots of special holidays looming! Tomorrow on the 19th, of course, we get the first Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr! Wear your eye patch and cutlass to work, or just go see Pirates of the Caribbean again. Then entertain your more serious side, and celebrate the start of Banned Books Week starting on Saturday. Then close off the weekend with The International Day of Peace on Sunday.

Not Pittsburg

How did I miss this! I noticed a link to this list of Most Misspelled Cities in America (based on web search data), but nobody told me number 1 is Pittsburgh! I mean, I momentarily thought it might make the top ten, but it’s just not that hard to spell. Of course, as the article points out, in the late 1800’s the U.S. Board on Geographic Names standardized location spellings after over a century of people naming their towns whatever they wanted, willy-nilly. They ruled that all *-burghs would drop their final “h”, except for Pittsburgh, which got an exemption. … Continue reading Not Pittsburg

Blackout Story

I’m late on the bandwagon, but everybody else has been telling their blackout stories, and it’s cliche by now, but it really does reflect the type of town you are in. And in my case, it pointed out how much of a small, hippy town I’m really in. It’s a small town, so there wasn’t panic, because even at rush hour we’ve got no subways or skyscrapers, so there weren’t masses of trapped people. The university even had a heads-up that it was coming, as we got e-mail warning us to shut down our computers so as to avoid power-loss … Continue reading Blackout Story