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Apr 18th, 2016 - 02:08 am - First impressions
Starbucks Clover
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been vegetable-based.

Here are the haircuts of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. It's April! Tax season and (here in the northern hemisphere) blossoms on the trees. Some random weather we had here earlier in Ohio had us having snow (yes, snow!) last week. It was only around a day or two but certainly was more than just a "light dusting".
Earlier last week I visited a local Starbucks ("Starbanks", as I call it, as it is in an old bank, complete with a safe room you can eat / drink in!) for a tasting. The Columbus (Ohio) market has finally - literally one of the last major cities in the US - gotten 'tastings', 'Starbucks Evenings' and 'bistro boxes' available here. Woo!

* Traxler Tees (part 1 of 2)

Earlier on last week I also had a chance to visit this business, which has a new location on the near east side of town, in an industrial area close to the Ohio Historical Center. Founder (and 'hottie') Zach Traxler opened up the warehouse space to visitors and offered (among other things) free beer, t-shirts and discounted food. I saw how the company creates its products, and even silkscreened a free shirt! (see below). The ink for the designs is pressed onto a template (under of which a shirt lies) on a square ironing-board-esque surface using a tool similar to one used for smoothing out concrete. The pressed design then goes down a conveyor-belt drying machine, and comes out the other end. "easy"!

* Traxler Tees (part 2 of 2)



We had a choice of red or gray shirts and one of five or so designs. Mine says "I printed this!"'

* Dream : morally-questionable Matt Damon (part 1 of 2)

I am vacationing with someone who is supposed be famous actor / writer Matt Damon in a warm environment - perhaps Florida. We are visiting a large buffet in a generic strip mall. The buffet, from the outside, appears to have two stories. It offers food and a casino for $10.29. We go inside. The line to get a ticket is so long, is stretches to the door into the main area itself, and the line to get into the main area is so long, it reaches from the other way back to where the first line is (i.e. "people are in two lines, facing opposite directions"). Rather than pay, Matt walks in like he has a ticket (!), and stands next to the guy holding the door open when he is not looking at us. He then "goes in" with everyone who is backlogged and already has a ticket. I apparently do this also and follow him.

* Dream : morally-questionable Matt Damon (part 2 of 2)

The main room is very large and circular-shaped, with a smaller circular bar in the center part. The buffet includes full-length carrots with brown gravy, among many other things. The 'bartenders' in the center part are all young ladies dressed like Las Vegas / generic "French dancers" (ruffles, etc). They are all quite bored as no one is drinking anything. Matt wishes one of them a happy birthday and the young lady is still nonplussed.
I am unsure if I am with "Matt Damon", since he has darker hair and a different look to his face, and ask one of them "Do you know who this is?" She replies "It's Matt Damon, famous scientist". 'Matt' then asks them "Do you know who this is?" and points to me. Of course, she doesn't, and spends a few minutes staring at me. Matt continues "I'll expect an e-mail tomorrow, with you telling me who this is". Apparently this person enjoys giving people a hard time, as it were. How random!

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : trying new green-tea-and-honey yogurt (mild and tart!). work being flexible with my schedule. the act of forgiveness. good prices on produce as part of a local Fresh Thyme's opening week specials. pleasant weather, to be able to head outside and do things late(r) on in the evenings.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Mar 23rd, 2016 - 07:05 am - My tweets
random image 9 - Twilight
  • Wed, 01:27: The path back from the river overlook at which I occasionally meditate is shorter than the path to it. This is likely not a coincidence.
Mar 7th, 2016 - 09:57 pm - Spheres of interest : Florida 2016
color
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been well. I : am back! from a recent trip to Orlando, Florida. My original plan was to visit Disneyworld and see all of the free / non-park attractions present, which are a fair amount. However nicely my sister, brother-in-law and parents surprised me with a birthday gift : a 1-day ticket to any park, plus a $15 gift card!

* Monday

After a direct Southwest flight, I arrived and waited for my airport shuttle in the warm weather ; watching spring break kids, tourists, the Florida gay boys with their sockless loafers & personal handbags and hot Latino boys en route to their destinations. Due to all vans being out, I nicely got upgraded to a taxi! I shared with a pharmacist from Ohio, the first of several people from the state I encountered.
After checking in @ the Lakefront Howard Johnson I walked to nearby Eli's Orange World, a dome-shaped building and one of several in the area to sell discount t-shirts and mugs. Tiny salamanders scampered on the warm sidewalks.
That evening I did something I hadn't done in many years - had a bath! (I usually shower). My room was nice, with an unexpected 'bonus' of a mini fridge and 3 HBO channels on the TV.

* Tuesday (part 1 of 2)

Today I chose to head to a park. Epcot was having their annual Flower & Garden festival starting on Wednesday. Nicely, all of the floral displays were already up, so I avoided some of the crowds.
After scanning my ticket and thumbprint (really!), I entered. The front / entrance part of the park (Future World) has the giant 'golf ball' everyone always remembers. I amused myself with a wonderful electronic paint program, which allowed you to color the walls with an electric 'paintbrush'. Paint the picture with the 'correct' colors, and it interacts! Quite fun.
Next, on to some attractions I had pre-registered for, using Disney's easy Fastpass system : The Seas with Nemo & Friends (an aquarium where I saw lionfish, some small seahorses and two workers training a dolphin in a giant tank), "4-D" movies (three 3-d animated shorts with mild additional interactions such as light or a spritz of water) and Mission : Space, a rocket-launch program guided by actor Gary Sinese which replicated enhanced gravity. Featuring a more-intense and less-intense version (I chose the former), they weren't kidding - quite a (pretend) ride!



* Tuesday (part 2 of 2)

An amusing thing was the attention to detail Disney always has : outside of the Space ride they even have a fake (glassed) control center, where uniformed-looking people walk around pretending to do things, lol.
From there it was on to Club Cool, an "unusual sodas from around the world" display I have seen before. I tried 3 of the 8 myself, including the non-sweet Beverly apertif from Italy.
The other half of the day I walked around the World Showcase half, seeing the 11 countries (Canada, the UK, France, Morocco, Japan, the US, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico). I remembered some bits from my prior visit circa 2000. Lots of gift shops and local touches. "France" even had a (pretend) booth where they were "selling" old books and prints, just as they sometimes do in the real Paris!
"Morocco" was nice as it had an inside, open-roof, empty courtyard. Very peaceful. I stopped @ the Tangierine Cafe (not a typo) here and used my gift card for 2 vegetarian platters. I remember the waitstaff gently shooing out the (tame) ducks and squirrels, for which I was mildly amused / alarmed seeing some other visitors think they were "part of the park experience".

* Wednesday

Today I visited some of the "non-park" areas of Disney. It confirmed my belief there are multiple days' worth of activities to do, without even going in the parks!
I took the elevated monorail to the Polynesian, where I tried the dairy-free soft serve dessert Dole Whip, then on to the Contemporary, where I waited on the dock near the pool for the boat to Fort Wilderness, but abandoned it to catch a shuttle for Animal Kingdom instead for the free restaurant tour.
I missed the original one I hoped to do (Boma), but did indeed see the (real!) animals outside being fed (including giraffes, zebras and horned cousins to yaks) and also did a personalized tour with Kuena (pronounced quay-na), an 'exchange worker' from Lesotho, a small country in south Africa. We toured the 'other' eatery (Sanaa). Afterwards the chef nicely gave me some naan and dipping sauces, woo!
In the evening I took a pleasant 20-minute boat ride to the genteel, rocking chair, water-wheeled, horse-and-buggies present Port Orleans (an overlooked Disney gem), then explored Disney Springs, the shopping center. I tried some root-beer-flavored tea and marveled at the unique store items (such as Hipster Mickey and political-themed soaps).

* Thursday / overall

Riding the shuttle back to the hotel, I was accompanied by a(nother) family from Ohio who were as well staying @ the same place. At Disney Springs earlier I purchased a bathbomb, something I had seldom if ever used before, and back at the hotel just past midnight had, yes, a lily-of-the-valley bath. Woo!
Disney has trading cards (27 or so overall) various staff members for the forms of transportation (monorail, boat, bus) around the park have. I managed to collect 19 of them!
Florida is warm and has many lakes. Behind my hotel was the pool (with hot tub!), next to a large quiet lake and Spanish-moss-draped trees. Someone had tied a hammock to 2 trees and, after walking around some Thursday, I relaxed in it.
On the way back to the airport, the gentleman who shared my shuttle was a) also from Ohio! and b) on my literal exact flight back. A small world! "after all".

For a gallery of 11 pictures, one may click here.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Feb 10th, 2016 - 01:20 am - Egyptian licorice tea time
winter
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been snowy.

Here is the cardboard box of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Just earlier today we got our first 'real' snow of the season, following a relatively mild weather (at points being, literally, in the 60's!). Of course certainly not surprising that it is snowing.
Last week I celebrated my birthday @ Spaghetti Warehouse. A fun time! Chris, Ryan, Tony, Scott, John and a boy John is seeing (Bryan - unrelated to another Brian he and I know) all attended. Courtesy a birthday coupon from their mailing list, I was nicely able to eat for free too. Everybody even sang the copyrighted happy birthday song, haha.
I passed out some scratch-off lottery tickets as party favors, as I do if there is a birthday party etc. John's friend Bryan won $3, and there were two extras. I scratched them off and... won $4! woo

* LJ updates

I had noticed a while ago that an old associate (AlectheGreat) was posting his Twitter feeds here on Livejournal as well. I wasn't sure how to get that feature, but thankfully the help section of this site helped. For those who would like to add it to their entries, you can visit the extensions page, log in and set the preferences to 'yes' (one can also post one's entries to Facebook, if one likes, and from Instagram as well). Just a good way to cross-post everything platform-wise.

* Hail, Caesar! (part 1 of 2)



A still from the Coen bros. latest film of star Hobie Doyle, played by actor Alden Ehrenreich.

* Hail, Caesar! (part 2 of 2)

Courtesy a free pass, I was recently able to nicely see an advance screening of this particular movie, the latest from the famous sibling duo (on my actual birthday, as well!). A wonderful send up of the by-gone days of Hollywood ("before there was a TV in each living room", as one character describes it), we spot the visual archetypes : the private eye, the studio backlots that seem to stretch on indefinitely, the lavishly-large sets.
A loose connection of stories, "western pic" star Hobie (pictured above) gets "recast" in a 'parlor room' movie adaptation of an acclaimed stage play, something he has no idea how to translate acting-wise. Elsewhere gossip is managed, dance numbers happen and the studio even gets blackmailed ("take the $100,000 out of petty cash", the main character helpfully suggests, hinting at how ridiculously-wealthy the studio is).
Refreshingly essentially PG-rated (no violence or unclothed people!) ; the kind of movie that looks great on the big screen. I may have to see this one again at some point.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : the 'suggested videos' the Youtube channel on my Roku pulls up. 99 cents for a dozen large eggs (this week @ Aldi's, woo!). organizing and donating many things to Good Will as part of my semi-annual deep house cleaning. nice neighbors. World Market nicely reinstating their "free $10 for your birthday" promotion.

Okay. Have a good evening!

Take care,
* Geoff
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