Wednesday, April 27, 2011

0108--Who's Really Taking Your Job

If I worked at McDonald's, I think I'd be pretty nervous about the touch-screen ordering stations at Sheetz. Want a taco? Pick your protein, cheese, veggies, what kind of salsa you want, etc.--totally customize it. And maybe a smoothie? Pick your size and fruit flavor (I recommend pineapple), choose from the optional herbal/vitamin supplements, add fat-free yogurt--done. Print the receipt and pay while they make your meal. Decent food made on the spot . . . at a gas station. (It's gotta be the wave of the future; with gas over $4/gallon, who can afford to stop at the gas station AND a drive-through?)

Monday, April 25, 2011

0107--The Gas Station Before the Rest Stop

Somewhere in West Virginia, we pulled off for a bathroom break after seeing signs for a dozen gas stations, fast-food joints, and hotels. We exited prematurely, though, and found only a single run-down station at the roadside. The bathrooms were also out of order (predictably, an earlier visitor that evening had trashed them), so the attendant suggested that Ron could use the bushes. I was kind of out of luck.

As Ron headed out behind the building, I pulled out my wallet and the forty-something clerk asked me if it was a Vera Bradley. Mine wasn't, but the bag she pulled out was--and she quickly launched into how it was the second one her new boyfriend had given her, and how he wanted to meet her children even though they'd only been dating a few weeks. As it turns out, she had six kids, but the oldest, a twenty-one-year-old, had died last year serving over seas. Another, only three years old, passed away shortly before that. Her marriage fell apart in the ensuing months.

I don't know if there's a moral or lesson in this, but I do know that we also stopped at the next exit, which turned out to be the one with all the flashy gas stations. And although the restrooms worked perfectly (for which I was grateful, don't get me wrong), I can't say I remember a single detail about the stop otherwise.

Oh, and alligator ice? Some kind gas-station slushy drink.

0106--Easier to Fly?

Stuck in traffic for an hour just south of Pittsburgh, PA. Deadlocked for miles due to construction and an accident. There wasn't much to look at . . . and our aggravation at the hold-up was growing until this car inched by with a little yellow friend (yes, it was real) on the window sill. We followed alongside for 10 minutes as the animated young woman driving the car chatted with the bird. A good reason for taking it slow after all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

0105--Toronto (One of a Kind Show)

In honor of the birth of my one-of-a-kind friend Kate (shown here in all her glory), took a day to trip to Toronto's One of a Kind show. Artisans from across Canada were featured. Bought a bunch of cool stuff and walked around until our feet and backs were killing us. Finished the day in Hamilton at East Side Mario's (budda-boom, budda-bing) with a much-needed peach bellini for me and a cotton-candy cosmo for Kate.

0104--Toronto (ROM)

A much belated update to the blog . . .

Took a quick solo trip to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in February. Hoped to see a cool textiles exhibit advertised on their web site, but was largely underwhelmed by its scope. A few interesting Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier pieces, but beyond that (and a few impressive bizarre silks) not much captured my attention.

Finished the afternoon perusing shops in the Bloorcourt neighborhood.

The BIG discovery was actually a Whole Foods market in Oakdale, which has been permanently added a Toronto-excursion pit-stop. Hard to believe we can't get one in Buffalo.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

0103--Farewell to Lafayette

Some little friends came to the back porch to say goodbye on our last morning on at the cabin. We headed out Thursday, late morning, and arrived back to Buffalo Friday afternoon. It was hard to say goodbye to a place that has become so special to us.

0102--Joe Hall and the Louisiana Cane Cutters

After Pecan Island, we drove straight to Opelousas to see Joe Hall and the Louisiana Cane Cutters ( They were performing for a taping of "Swamp 'n' Roll," a regional television show about Louisiana music. You can check it out at

Before we left, Ron had connected on line with Dan Sanda, a guitarist with the band--and it turned out we both recognized (and Ron says, had met) Dan from the Blue Heron and Grassroots music festivals up here. Dan says he "lived at those festivals" for a few years. Had a chance to chat with him after the music wrapped up and will definitely look him up again on our next visit. He moved to Lafayette to get involved with the music scene there.

On a side note, they actually tape this Cajun/Creole television show at a Mexican restaurant called Casa Olé. Kind of surprising . . . but we were certainly happy for the terrific meal we had while watching the band. Totally delicious and much different than anything you can get around here. And, really, what a cool idea! We'd TOTALLY go out to a restaurant on a weeknight to see a band for an early show and have dinner/drinks. More places should do this--it really made dinner an EVENT.