"" Writer's Wanderings

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My Phone Was Lost/Stolen!

In the blink of an eye it can happen. My daughter in law set her phone down for a second on the checkout counter at Toys R Us one Christmas season and turned her head for a moment to say something to my son. When she turned back, the phone was gone. No one claimed to have seen it disappear. Suspiciously a few days later there was a phone very much like hers on eBay.

While my brother in law didn't lose a phone, his iPad was picked out of his backpack in the middle of Venice, Italy. Gone in a second in a crowd of people. Several weeks later back home someone emailed him (he'd left a sticker on the back of the iPad with his email address in case he lost his iPad) and asked for his password so they could unlock the iPad. The person complained that they had purchased the device and couldn't get it unlocked.

There is a good article on SmarterTravel about what to do if your phone is stolen or lost while you are traveling. Traveling or not, it would be worth a read through if you don't have a clue about being able to lock or erase your phone so your information can't be used--especially if you have Apple Pay or another app for paying for things on it.

Whatever you do, keep that phone (and iPad) in a secure place on your person. Guard it as you would your wallet. It only takes a second and it's gone.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Books For The Road - My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry

Our book club took a chance on this book. None of us had read it so it was an adventure for all of us to open the pages or fire up the ebooks. I had read another of Fredrick Backman's books, A Man Called Ove, which was good so I had a feeling My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry would be as well. And it was.

Here's the description from the Amazon page:
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

It brings a laugh in lots of places and by the time you are finished you realize you've learned some things along the way. The very least of which is to not judge people before you get to know them well.

Along the way I copied down a couple of quotes from the book:
"Improbable tragedies create improbable superheroes."
The argument over what is better a printed book vs. an ebook was answered by: "Soup is soup no matter what bowl it's served in."
And my favorite: "I want someone to know I existed. I want someone to know I was here."

I'm waiting to read another of Backman's books. So far he hasn't disappointed me. Try him out. You'll enjoy this read for the road.

Friday, May 18, 2018

And Then There's The Cheese Trail

A few years ago I would have loved this adventure. Unfortunately cheese is no longer a friend to me but that doesn't mean that following this trail wouldn't be fun.

The cheese trail spans about 60-70 miles between Akron and Sugarcreek. There are only five stops along this trail and unlike the donut trail in Butler, there is no passport or T shirt at the end of the trail.

To find the list of cheese stops and a map, go to the Only In Your State website. 

There's also a wine and cheese trail I happened upon but I wouldn't suggest sampling and driving. That's one you may want to designate a driver for.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Butler County's Donut Trail

Got a hankering to feed your sweet tooth? Butler County Ohio has a unique way to do it--by following the trail. No, you don't have to hike although with all the donuts you'll eat or at least purchase, you may want to get the exercise.  Let me explain.

First of all, you'll need to pick up a passport. You can get one at whatever donut shop you start your sweet adventure. Each place you visit after that will give you a stamp in your passport and you can start collecting some of those delicious treats as well.

When you have finished the 80 mile trail and have made at least eleven stops, you go to the Butler County Visitor's Bureau in West Chester and show them your passport. You then get the T shirt!

Butler County is located between Dayton and Cinncinnati. Go to the Butler County Visitor's Bureau website to find the map and list of shops. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Buy Me Some Peanuts And Cracker Jack

Peanuts were growing in the US in the 1800s but were mainly used for oil and fodder for animals. As a food for consumption, it was considered a poor man's food--that is until the Civil War. The peanut was discovered as a convenient snack for the troops on both sides. Eventually the roasted peanut became a popular snack sold on street corners, at the circus and then baseball games.

With the more recent growth in peanut allergies, some ball parks actually have peanut-free areas where families can enjoy the game without the worry of peanut dust in the air. FYI, Americans consume more than 600 million pounds of peanuts a year.

While popcorn has been around for thousands of years it wasn't until 1893 when a couple of popcorn makers, Federick and Louis Rueckheim, decided to add a twist to the same old, same old. They began experimenting with adding molasses and peanuts to the popcorn and created a sweet/salty mix. In 1893 they introduced it at the World's Fair in Chicago. One of the people who tasted it said it was "crackerjack," a slang term of the times that meant "awesome." The name stuck.

The Rueckheims discovered a method of keeping the coated popcorn from sticking together which, it is said, is secret to this day.

The first Cracker Jack box to have a prize in it appeared in 1912. Since then more than 23 billion prizes have been found in the delicious mix. Some of the vintage prizes have been valued at $7,000. Wish I had kept some of those. By the way, July 5 is Cracker Jack Day!

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