Way Too Long!

Meridian, Idaho

A few months before I turned 40, I went on a vacation.

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It was amazing! I spent four days and three nights on the California coast in Mendocino.

I came across the pictures I took recently and reminisced about the trip…

First stop was in Muir Woods for a short hike.

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Second stop was a view of the hills off of Highway 1.

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Third stop was my hotel with a (distant) view of the sea.

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My hotel room was ever so lovely…

Mendo-3 Mendo-4 Mendo-5Next stop was a hike along the coast. 
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I spent the weekend hiking, reading, a browsing the quaint Mendocino shops.

Mendo-8Mendo-10The amazing thing to me is that when I took my first solo vacation, I swore that I wouldn’t wait another 40 years to take another one.

But here it is, 18 years later and I haven’t taken another.

I’ve thought about it, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

It’s time to do more than think about it. 🙂

I’m off to browse travel sites and start making plans to solo travel again.

Backwards Brain Bicycle

Meridian, Idaho

A lot of you may have already seen this video, but I found it fascinating enough to watch a couple of times.

It’s about a bicycle that’s been adapted so that to turn the bicycle left, you have to turn the handlebars to the right.

Sounds easy, but it’s not.

I I especially like the punch line: Knowledge is not understanding.

This is so fascinating, that I’ve started looking at other videos that Smarter Every Day has.

Amazing and informative!

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PS Special thanks to Carol for posting this first on Facebook. 🙂

Morning at the Market

Meridian, Idaho

Rich and I went to the Boise City Market yesterday morning with Melissa.

It was grand…

We got to see the University of Idaho famous mascot–The Vandal.

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And some full-sized Rainer beer cans that were strolling along…

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We’re still not quite sure why they were out for a stroll,  let alone of they could see it off their costumes.  They had  a guide with them at all times.

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Some beautiful plants including a cornucopia of succulents.

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A man making balloon sculptures. He was hoping for a very busy day; he had at least three hundred balloons tucked into his supplies belt.

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Jack Thompson makes some amazing pieces out of wood. I took some pictures so maybe Rich can make me some once he gets his shop built. 
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This photography looked almost too real to be real. 🙂

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I bought one of these wire, bead and glass objects and talked with the artist for a bit. She’s from Idaho City.

She’s lived there almost 40 years and is not quite considered a “local” yet. (You have to visit Idaho City to understand how true this statement is… 🙂 )0718150956a

It was a fine market,  and we had a great time.

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Doodle to the Rescue

Meridian, Idaho

I found a solution to a scheduling problem that I’ve been searching for for a very long time that some of you might find useful.

It’s called Doodle and is available on doodle.com.

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It’s a free online scheduling solution that was designed to let people figure out that the best time to schedule a meeting so that the greatest number of invitees can attend.

I looked and looked for a way to figure out who could play pickleball at specific times. A group of us used to send multiple emails to try to figure out when and where was the best time and place to get the most players. It was a nightmare…

Doodle came to the rescue.

I set up a poll for each of the two parks that we play at and players indicate what days they will show up at each park.

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We need at least four to play, so if four hadn’t signed up for Monday at Terry Day Park I would have contacted those who had signed up and cancelled.

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The great thing about it is that only the person establishing the poll needs to have an account. All the invitees can just enter their name in.

It’s as easy as pie… apple-pie (1)

Glory Hole

Meridian, Idaho

I’m going through some old pictures, deciding what to discard and what to scan electronically and then discard.

I came across some photos of when Rich and I visited the Owyhyee (oh-Y-hee) Dam just after we moved to Idaho nine years ago.

It was a wet year–probably the last one since we moved here. And there was flooding below the dam.

A friend in Nevada had told us to take a look at the dam because it’s so impressive. And it was.

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From Wikipedia:

Owyhee Dam (National ID # OR00582) is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon near Adrian, Oregon, United States. Completed in 1932 during the Great Depression, the dam generates electricity and provides irrigation water for several irrigation districts in Oregon and neighboring Idaho. At the time of completion, it was the tallest dam of its type in the world (it was surpassed about two years later). The dam is part of the Owyhee Dam Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The dam impounds the river to create the Owyhee Reservoir, with storage capacity of nearly 1,200,000 acre feet (1.5 km3) of water. The more than 400-foot (120 m) tall concrete-arch gravity dam is owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and operated by the Owyhee Irrigation District. Haystack Rock Road is carried over the 833-foot (254 m) long crest of the dam.

We knew it was a tall dam, but we had no idea what we were going to see once we drove up the road to the top of the dam!

Here’s a sequence of three shots of what amazed us:

A wisp of water misting up from the reservoir just a little bit away from the dam.

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A hole underneath the wisp of water that went somewhere…

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A HUGE HOLE that tons of water were sucked down into! GH-3

Turns out that’s called a Glory Hole. The hole is the spillway for the dam. It’s nearly 300′ deep and almost 70′ wide.

Here’s a video of water going over the spillway that someone posted on YouTube. Listen to the sound. Amazing.

Engineers can raise and lower the ring-gate control of the glory hole to help monitor water levels and run off.

Driving up the road to view the dam and then seeing (and hearing) the glory hole is a memory I will never forget.

Neither is watching one unlucky fish being sucked into the glory hole…

Poh’s Big Adventure

Meridian, Idaho

This is too wonderful not to share.

Video from CBS New York News:

Story from NBC News:

A dog’s bucket-list adventure has become an Instagram sensation.

When Poh, a 15-year-old dog from New York, received a terminal diagnosis, his owner, Neil Rodriguez, decided to make the most of his furry friend’s final days.

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“We had a choice: either we just wait at home for the inevitable or we try to give him one last big adventure,” Rodriguez said.

Poh’s veterinarian found a softball-sized tumor on his liver and multiple tumors in his kidneys. The vet told Rodriguez that Poh’s time was limited so, together with his fiancée, he took Poh on the road, chronicling their travels to landmark destinations on Instagram.

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“What’s better than having him walk around a beach, take a nap with the sun on his snout, the wind breezing through his ears,” Rodriguez said. “Nothing better.”

Perhaps that’s why Poh has lived beyond the original diagnosis of just “days” to live. Poh has been traveling across the country for four months now.

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Along the way, Poh — believed to be part pit bull, part Labrador retriever — has posed at the White House, pranced along the Las Vegas strip and sunk his paws in the water along the California coast.

“He’s just a survivor,” Rodriguez said about the former shelter dog. “He’s the Energizer Bunny of dogs.”

Some people have criticized Rodriguez for hauling a sick and old dog all over the country, but he says he can see a positive change in Poh when they are on the road.

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“When he would be home, he would degrade a little bit and when we would bring him back out, his spirits would be back up.”

Poh’s Instagram account now has more than 100,000 followers, and Rodriguez is encouraging fans to adopt a shelter dog of their own.

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“I love my dog as much any person would love their family member, as much as they would love their child,” Rodriguez said. “I love my dog infinitely.”

While the end of the road may be near, these two are proof that life is all about the journey.

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Twinsters

Meridian,  Idaho

I’m a sucker for any story about twins.  Here’s a great one…

From GoodNewsNetwork.com:

Getting a celebrity to answer your messages is tough, but it helps when you look exactly alike.

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When Anaïs Bordier spotted a woman who looked exactly like her in a movie trailer, she knew she had to write the actress.

“Dude, we’re totally twins!” Samantha Futerman wrote back.

They totally turned out to be just that.

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Once they started talking, they discovered that not only did they have the same birthday, but they were also born in the same South Korean clinic before being adopted by parents in France and the U.S.

The two women met in London, had a DNA test and the results confirmed that they are identical twins.

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And Samantha, who has appeared in “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Law and Order,” is adding a directing credit to her resume — she’s creating a documentary, “Twinsters,” about the unlikely reunion with the twin sister who found her.

I haven’t been to a movie in over 15 years . This movie is one that I might actually go see in a theatre.

I’m intrigued  by the concept of finding the perfect best friend in an instant and yet not sharing any past…

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Hocus Pocus

Meridian, Idaho

Years ago, Carol and I bought a series of CDs called the SMART Technique Automatic Fat Loss Program.

slThe CDs were supposed to help us lose weight simply by listening to them.

Alas, they didn’t help with fat control 🙂 , but they were amazingly effective at helping us take a nap each day while listening to one of them.

Each session on the CD lasts between 35 and 45 minutes–just the right amount of time for a quick afternoon nap. Between the warm up for the nap and the wake up from the nap, the actual nap is about 20 minutes. Perfect!

It’s hard to describe how listening to the CD induces naps with a combination of music, guided imagery, and silences using a type of self-hypnosis…

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Melissa called them “Hocus Pocus” whenever we talked about them. Carol, her daughters, and I all giggled at the name and the name stuck.

I’ve been using Hocus Pocus for the last few weeks to help me both take a nap and to fall asleep at night because I went through a period of insomnia.

It’s rather weird because within each session the talker reminds me to wake up to the bell if I’m just napping or to sleep through the bell if it’s night time and I want to stay asleep.

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Nine times out of then, that suggestion works.

If I’m really tired, my nap goes over the preferred 20 minute power nap time because I don’t hear the bell.

But a long nap isn’t necessarily a really bad thing. 🙂

Especially because I know I can Hocus Pocus later that night and fall right back asleep again. 🙂

Cruisin’ Big Dogs, Governors, and Ranchers

Meridian, Idaho

Over 10,000 golden-agers are competing in the National Senior Games this month in Minnesota including Dick Johnson, a 75 year old pickleball buddy of mine from Boise.

nsgYes, they pitch horseshoes and play shuffleboard at the National Senior Games. But this 13-day event, which begins Friday in the Twin Cities, isn’t your grandfather’s sports festival — unless your grandfather is a triathlete, javelin thrower or point guard.

Stereotype-busting is not among the 19 medal sports and two demonstration events at the Games, an Olympic-style competition for men and women ages 50 and older. Still, the perception they are fusty or frail is likely to take a big hit, as nearly 10,000 golden-agers go for gold in everything from three-on-three basketball to archery to pickleball to disc golf. Their message is that no matter how many miles are on their muscles, sports can provide lifelong nourishment to both body and spirit.

I just love looking at individual and group stories about people. Here are a few of athletes competing in the games.

Women’s Basketball 3 on 3 Competition

From NBC News:

With all of its members in their 80s or 90s, the “Albuquerque Cruisin’ Big Dogs” prove age is nothing but a number.

Best quote from that story: The more you don’t move, the less you’ll be able to…

Track and Field Competitions

Former South Dakota governor Frank Farrar has completed in over 300 triathlons over the last 23 years after battling knee surgery and cancer. Farrar placed second at this year’s National Senior Games.

And retired rancher John Zilverberg, who turns 102 in a month, is competing in discus, shot put, javelin, and softball throw events.

Diet Pepsi Dilemma

Meridian, Idaho

I’m a Diet Pepsi junkie.

If there were DP Anonymous meetings, I’d be tempted to go. But thankfully, as far as I know, there are no meetings.

I have been drinking Diet Pepsi for at least 40 years. Yep, that long…

I gave it up for Lent once–longest 40 days of my life!

94aaa5815ffc70bb1f6bf72ada5973fdLately, there’s been a change in the bottling methods of Diet Pepsi and it’s creating a dilemma for me.

They’ve changed the sizes of many of the bottles.

I used to buy it in two sizes: 24 ounce to drink as I was in the car and 2 Liter to drink at home in a glass over ice.

Both sizes were perfect!

Today’s post concerns the 24 ounce bottles.

The 24 ounce was enough for a long car ride, and I even had a bit left to share with Rich.

But as of this spring, there are no more 24 ounce sizes sold.

There’s a 16.9 ounce which is almost one-third less than the perfect 24 ounce size. Alas, I don’t have enough to share with Rich anymore when we go on drives. 🙂

 I thought I was the only one who missed the 24 ounce bottle, but then I found a support group on Facebook.

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I got the giggles when I read some of the posts on the Pepsi please bring back 6 pks. 24 oz bottles Facebook page.

Here’s my favorite from a fan who thinks there’s a connection between the size of toilet paper rolls and Pepsi bottles:

I was a faithful Pepsi fan for the last forty plus years. Ever since the 6-pack of 24oz bottles came out I have purchased about six a week as it was about the only thing I drink. It is the perfect size to take a couple to work. I hate cans and am not fond of the small bottles. I feel you are doing the same thing the toilet paper people did. Make it smaller, charge the same price and maybe they won’t notice. Well, I noticed and I will no longer buy any of it. I now only buy toilet paper from Costco and I no longer drink Pepsi. I have done what my kids have wanted me to do and am drinking ice tea and more water. Basically, lost me as a faithful customer by treating us like idiots.

Obviously, “Faithful Pepsi Fan” and I are not the only Pepsi fans who are upset with the change…

Please bring back the 24 ounce bottles. I can’t even find the 20 ounce bottle anymore. 16 ounce bottles fall over in the cup holder in the car they don’t fit in my cooler cups come on Pepsi please get real. 

Still giggling over that one. As I read through the posts on the Facebook page, I’m beginning to think that all of us who are addicted to Pepsi are just a tad crazy….

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There are lots of smaller sizes of DP available, but for obvious reasons they won’t work for me.

When Rich saw the 8 ounce size at the store, he said, “There’s no way that would even be enough to get you out of the driveway.”

Ha ha ha… He’s right. 🙂